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How to Look After Yourself – Start with Self Care

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” – Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

Looking after myself, my self care, is very important to me. As any of you who have received my recent newsletter will know, this year I’ve listened to my body and my needs even more than ever and cut down on my work commitments as I need to slow down and draw in, rest and dream as the days shorten and the nights lengthen. It’s only natural that our energy levels wane as we head through Autumn and into Winter. After all, we’re animals and in the same way that hedgehogs, squirrels, grizzly bears and all the other creatures hunker down and hibernate, we naturally feel that irresistible pull to slow down too.

So, part of my self care at the moment has been rescheduling some of my work projects for the Spring when my energy levels will be rising and I’ll be feeling more upbeat and raring to go. Finding this restful space feels just right for me right now. I’m still aware of what’s going on around me but I’m not comparing myself to others and I’m staying close to me and my needs.

In my recent blog post, I mentioned that I think that self care is all about deep listening, embodiment and reconnection to you and your own needs, listening to the messages from your body and creating space for you to be with you, doing what you want and need to do.

“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows it to shine vibrantly, lighting the way for others.” -Unknown

So, as you can see, self care isn’t about extravagant trips to a luxury spa, long holidays or a pamper afternoon at the local salon, although it can be, it’s whatever you need it to be and it can be something pretty ‘boring’ as brilliantly illustrated on Hannah Daisy’s colourful Instagram feed with the tag #boringselfcare, such as booking a smear test, eating breakfast, resting or making a phone call that you’ve been putting off.

What little things are you going to do to take better care of yourself?

Over the next month, I challenge you to check in with yourself every day and do one small thing for you that you want and need to do.

It doesn’t have to cost anything; it doesn’t have to be complicated; it just has to be for you.

So, if you’ve been thinking about someone who you haven’t spoken to for ages, just pick up the phone and call them; if you’re overwhelmed by the number of emails in your inbox, schedule 10 minutes to check them and delete ruthlessly; or if your shoulders are a little achy, take a few minutes to do some slow shoulder rolls.

Listening to yourself and adding self care into your daily routines can bring you comfort and contentment and a much improved sense of mental and physical wellbeing.

“Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners.” – William Shakespeare

Let’s get started – here are a few ideas

  1. Have a warm bath with a few drops of your favourite oil.
  2. Rest with your legs up the wall.
  3. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  4. Get ready for work the night before.
  5. Plan your meals for the next week.
  6. Learn something new.
  7. Take your breaks at work away from your desk.
  8. Practice one Yoga pose each day that will support how you feel in your body and breathe into it for three minutes.
  9. Listen to your favourite music while you’re washing the dishes.
  10. Eat breakfast.
  11. Try one of my lovely guided meditations
  12. Drink lots of water.
  13. Make a list and get things out of your head.
  14. Get outside and watch the clouds.
  15. Celebrate your successes, however small.
  16. Show gratitude.
  17. Start a journal
  18. Take a nap in the afternoon.
  19. Take the stairs rather than the lift.
  20. Do some gentle stretching before bed.
  21. Read a book.
  22. Turn off screens and gadgets.
  23. Go for a run.
  24. Cuddle a furry animal.
  25. Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free 45 minute Restorative Yoga sequence to try at home
  26. Go somewhere new.
  27. Sit under a tree.
  28. Sign up for Headspace and learn to meditate.
  29. Put on some music and dance.
  30. Breathe deeply.
  31. Laugh.
  32. Walk barefoot on the beach.
  33. Go for a run.
  34. Sing in the rain.
  35. Switch off the lights and light a candle.

What have you done today just for you to support your self care?

Please share with us on Instagram with the hashtag #allwomanselfcare

If you need support with your self care, I can guide you but only you can work out what you need and start a self care routine of practices that work for you.

I specialise in working with women one to one and enjoy being part of their journey of reconnection and self-discovery. I support women to find more balance and harmony in their lives by deepening their inner connection to their own body’s needs, helping them cope pre-conception, with fertility issues, prenatally, postnatally or during times of transition, grief or loss and helping alleviate the symptoms of menstruation, perimenopause or menopause.

If you feel that you would benefit from some nurturing allwoman support, please get in touch.

Lara Heppell

About Lara Heppell

I use the incredible healing, calming, strengthening and restorative power of yoga to help you find the balance you need, no matter what stage of life you’re at. I couple this with Mizan massage, belly binding, birth preparation and doula services to support you as needed.

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