Self-care is a key component of integrative nurse coaching. We don’t often think about the importance of taking care of ourselves, especially when we’re so busy taking care of other people. But the truth is out: you deserve a little self-care just as much as the next person!
Giving yourself a moment to breathe and reset in the midst of your daily life can benefit you in a very real way. You don’t need to go all-out and spend a chunk of money on an ‘Eat Pray Love’ kind of reawakening either (unless you want to!).
Here are 5 simple ways to up your self-care and take back some of your well-deserved time and love.
1. Breathe in the fresh air
It doesn’t matter whether the sky is blue or gray, sunny or starry, warm or cold. Practicing self-care is easy if you just get outside and breathe in the fresh air.
Take a few deep gulps of it. Go for a wander in the woods or a gentle stroll along the beach. Find a grassy patch where you can lie down and let your time, thoughts and feelings pass you by.
Spending time outside and breathing in Mother Nature’s clean, fresh air will definitely help to reset your ‘me’ switch.
2. Practice meditation and mindfulness
Searching for tranquility and inner peace? Meditation and mindfulness will get you there. While it can feel strange in the beginning to sit quietly and let your thoughts drift idly by, these practices are key to caring for yourself.
Remember that you don’t have to fit the stereotypical mould of what meditation or mindfulness look like. If doing a puzzle, colouring, crafting, being active or stargazing gets you into a meditative state, then do it!
3. Turn the music up loud
Music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there are a whole lot of us who love it. Whatever your genre – whether it’s rock, indie, pop, country, soul or heavy metal – turn the music up loud and let the sound take you over.
You want to dance? Dance! You want to sing? Sing! You want to lie on the floor and feel the bass beating through the floorboards and up into your bones? Do it! Music can move you to another place, a beautifully peaceful place, if you let it.
4. Have a good belly laugh
Laughter is the best medicine. It’s been said before and it’ll be said for eons to come. In this day and age of screens, heavy workloads and hectic schedules, we don’t laugh as much as we should.
But the thing about laughter (we’re talking a real, deep belly laugh here), is that it physically alters your body in the best possible way. Laughter releases endorphins and stimulates your vital organs, giving you the self-care boost you need to go on.
5. Eat healthy, colourful fruits and veggies
Healthy food is at the core of mental and physical wellbeing. If you want to feel uplifted, lighter and brighter, consume colourful fruits and veggies. You can also eat nuts, legumes, fish, meat and a whole load of other nutritious treats.
Eating the good stuff will make you feel good, look good and live good. But remember that it’s also okay to eat the sweet and savoury things that bring you joy. If there comes a moment when you want a chocolate bar or a deep fried meal, just eat it! Self-care is about taking care of yourself in whatever way feels right.
Give yourself a little love, you deserve it!
As an integrative nurse coach, I understand that self-care varies from person to person. However, the bare bones of it all are the same across the board and ultimately, it comes down to doing the things that make you feel wholesome and happy.
Take yourself out for dinner. Spend an afternoon chinwagging with your best friend or close family member. Go for a walk or a swim. Watch a movie that makes you laugh.
It doesn’t matter how you do it. Just give yourself back a smidgen (or a bucketload) of the time you give to other people and put a smile back on your dial.