Let’s be honest, there is no escaping our own thoughts. And when we have between 40,000 – 60,000 of them a day that can be an overwhelming prospect, especially if those thoughts are critical and frantic. We all know that we should look after our physical wellbeing, but often our mental wellbeing is at the bottom of the list, despite it having a direct impact on our physical health and energy levels. We just don’t have time for us, it feels self-indulgent, lazy or we are just simply exhausted. Do any of these things sound familiar to you?
We live in a fast-paced instant society where there is room for self-comparison in abundance from the moment we pick up our phones and see so-called ‘perfect’ lifestyles on social media. It’s a tough time to be kind to ourselves and we are starting to recognise that. “Self-care” became last year’s ‘go to’ phrase and the internet is awash with self-care activities and quotes.
An absolute lightbulb moment for us at OutdoorCureOnline was a TED Talk on The Importance of Self-Care. In the talk (around the 11 minute mark if you have a need for speed), Guy Winch gives an example of a lady who has been on a failed first date. She is talking to her friend about it and her friend is, quite frankly, cruel – unsupportive and highly critical. We, of course, fell into the trap of thinking ‘what an unpleasant friend*’ but in the very next breath Guy asks you to reconsider… ‘what if…’ he asks ‘what if I told you that this was not the lady’s friend but what the lady said to herself’. It was a very significant moment for us because we all do this to some extent, and so readily, without any thought about the impact on ourselves. We would not dream of talking to our friends like that so why do we do it to ourselves!?! And, more importantly, as we love to ask at OutdoorCureOnline – what can we do differently?
Our top 7 tips are below, but it is also worth keeping an eye out for our OutdoorCureOnline ‘Kind Mind’ course – it is currently fully booked but we will be opening it again shortly so WATCH THIS SPACE! We do an excited dance every time this one goes live!
The OutdoorCureOnline top 7 tips for self-care:
- Take steps to increase your self-awareness and get to know yourself. Being self-aware allows you to make decisions that are in line with your values and based on what is important to you.
- Think about where your energy is currently being spent. Sometimes certain activities or conversations can have a draining effect. It’s not always possible to avoid them completely but could you do things differently?
- Know what restores you after a long day and try new and different things. If you can’t think of anything, this is the time to have fun and try things out. Spend some time reflecting on when you last felt restored – what had you done?
- Be kind to you – if you’re finding this tough, ask yourself if I was talking to a friend in this situation, what would I say?
- Make sure you have made time for you in your week. Plan to include activities that you find fulfilling, enjoy or find relaxing. Make them more of a priority in your week. You’ll get a real boost and find you have more energy for the essential chores that there is no escape from!
- Connect with others – those who bring a happy energy and have you buzzing with positivity. This could be face to face, over the telephone or online. Connecting with people who accept you has a positive impact on our wellbeing.
- Get outdoors. Just a short amount of time spent outdoors really does make a huge difference to your emotional and mental health. There are plenty of different ways to experience the outdoors, but even just a simple, mindful walk will give you a boost. What will you notice today?
Let us know how you get on and help us to start a kind mind revolution! We cover all this in our online course and talk you through strategies to support you to move forward. If you have any queries about our course, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
*Ok it might not have been quite those words but our mums read this 😊