Guest blog from *Tsvetalina, Life and Career Coach and NLP Master Practitioner.
“You feel tired not because you have done too much, but because you have done too little of what sparks a light in you”. When I first read that quote if felt like a light-bulb moment.
Our daily cycles are predetermined with plenty of tasks that repeat themselves and while we try to cater for everyone else, we often forget the most important thing – to cater for ourselves, to practice self-care and self-love. I am sure plenty of people have already given various advice like “stay hydrated”, “eat healthy food”, “do some sport”, etc. However, people often forget or ignore the basics. The first and most important thing – if you do not take care of yourself you will not be able to care about the others. Reflect on the following: if you are exhausted how can you be of further help to your family or your friends if they ask you for help? Some may have also been told that it is egoistic to put yourself first. Taking care for oneself is the purest form of self-love because if you are not at your own 100%, you cannot help others. “Easy”, some will, say, “but how do we take care of ourselves?”
Three self-care top tips:
1. Make sure to go to bed on time and have enough sleep. Notice the way you feel after you have had a good night’s sleep – you wake up relaxed, full of energy and ready to seize the day. Compare it to a day where you did not have enough sleep, you’ve slept less than the usual, or even it has been a few days in a row, where you’ve slept less than the usual. Are you at your 100%? I am sure that most of you will say “no”. I often joke about it as “my beauty sleep”. Yes, I know that if I did not have enough of it I may be too direct and less tolerant to others. So, have enough sleep. Plan it in your routine. If you need 6 hours, give yourself 6 hours. If you need 7, then 7 it is, but remember to have enough sleep.
2. Add something you love doing to your daily routine. Find a timeslot in your day to do something you love. It may be a tiny slot – a 30-minute one, or even a 15 minute one but do something that brings you joy. Something that you love doing. I love photography. I have been hooked up for the last 20+ years. I even remember how it started. I was on a trip. I did not have a camera. People promised me photos which I never got. So, when I returned home, I bought myself a simple and cheap camera. One of those plastic ones. I took photography cases years later. One of my teachers wanted me to become a professional… but that is a story for another time. For me photography is being in the moment, seeing something that others most probably have missed. Looking at things from a different angle and then seizing that moment and getting it into a picture. Taking the photo and later sharing it with others so they can enjoy the wondrous world around us. Even if you do not have much time thinking about 15 minutes a day. What can you do? Take a few photos? Take care of your houseplants? Maybe, play with your pet and get some unconditional love and affection from them? Or spend 15 extra minutes with your family. Give them your undivided attention. Find what you love! Find something that inspires you and allows you to lose track of time … and do it! Do it daily! Use those 15 minutes as something sacred, something that brings light and love and inspiration in your day.
The sleep… The thing you love doing… I can now hear you saying… “I don’t have the time” which brings me to my third piece of advice.
3. Manage your time. Look around your daily routines and what you do. How much time did you spend cooking this week? Watching TV? Or… cleaning, doing the dishes, doing the washing or any other house chore? Can you combine them? What will happen if skip an episode of that TV show? Or the hour you spent browsing on social media? Can you batch cook? Prepare 2 meals on let’s say Sunday. Or just the ingredients for a few meals that can be combined in different ways to free you the time during the week. Then instead of cooking every day or every other day to have the food ready in the fridge so that it can be warmed up or just combined into a dinner within 10 minutes instead of spending an hour in the kitchen. What can you combine? Who can help you at home? What can be their reward for helping you? Remember Tom Sawyer and the wall he had to paint and how he turned it from a chore into a fun activity that earned him some pennies and treats. Look around your day and plan around it. Time-manage it. When you combine two activities or delegate some of them you will free yourself the time for some extra sleep or the thing you love doing.
Practice self-care. Do more of what you love. It’s easy.
Tsvetalina Baykusheva T/A Dandelion Coaching is a Life and Career Coach and an NLP Master Practitioner. She runs programs and webinars for people who want to make changes in their lives and careers and who are willing to re-discover themselves and do more of what they love and what brings a spark in their eyes. For more information click here.