How do you define Self Care? The phrase keeps cropping up in conversations lately. We seem to want it a lot, struggle to find the time and space to do it, and then to cap it all off, feel guilty when we do eventually manage to take time out!
Self care is about taking care of yourself, treating yourself with compassion and kindness, looking after yourself, doing something for your own pleasure; an act of self love.
Why should nurturing ourselves be so difficult? It’s easy to keep thinking of all the tasks that need to be done; caring for others. Sending emails, keeping in touch with family and friends, taking the cat to the vet, writing your blog… And so it goes on.
What happens when you don’t give yourself a break? You get impatient, snappy with people, make poor decisions and maybe your temper flares easily or you feel tearful. Can you think of other negative aspects of running yourself ragged?
How Human of You!
Now recall how you feel after a lovely restful break; revitalised, energised, creative and de-stressed… Insert your own words here…
Focus on what you want to feel more of in your life, get specific on what your ‘Me Time’ looks and feels like to you.
Write a list of the things you enjoy doing by yourself: reading a book, napping, getting a facial/massage, sitting in a cafe watching the world go by, painting, writing your book, or practising yoga. Picture how you intend to nurture yourself.
Make a date with yourself and book it in your diary, Now! What length of time is realistic? What resources do you need to do this? Babysitters, switching your phone off, maybe cancelling something less important?
I love to encourage students to start a yoga home practice. People often believe that a practice should be at least an hour long to be worthwhile but that really isn’t so. Think quality over quantity.
What are some of the obstacles that may get in your way and stop you taking your much deserved break? Do you often say yes to requests and invitations, when you know you don’t have to and you really don’t want to?
If you feel your intention wavering, remember the wonderful pay off of looking after yourself. When you are rested, all your relationships feel the benefit.
Monique Fryer is a Nottingham-based yoga teacher, offering private tuition, classes from beginners to advanced and yoga weekends. To find out about Monique’s classes, visit