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Sunday, 17 February 2019

Self care

I've written a lot about this (What lifts me up when I'm down) - there's a lot of low costs ways to keep on an even keel, and it time poor, there's way to build it in with other activities, like driving or walking to your next appointment. While it seems to always be the thing to go first, you need to always remember, you can't pour from an empty cup. You need to reset your emotions, and be strong to deal with life's rough seas.

Music is a big pick up for me. Be it singing along in the car (and you have to sing loudly), or seeing a live gig. I've found dancing really elated my spirits, so with a live music venue up the road, I even sometimes go as 'an exercise class' - just turn up, dance, go home. Playing music in the shower is my new start to the day and really set me off with a bounce.

Upping the exercise is a big one - frequent exercise has the same effect as an antidepressant, so if time poor, I try to steal 20 mins on the exercise bike at home. Ideally the bay run with a friend while we download our problems is a great destressor if there's a little more time.

Helping others - this is a strange one, but I think your problems loom so large, but when you set about helping others, it puts them back into perspective. When I did my 'share the dignity - it's in the bag' shopping, it really gave me a buzz, and helping a friend makes you feel better (and they feel better) so it's wins all round.

Our minds race ahead at quantum speeds, so we are anticipating every terrible outcome when we hit stumbling blocks. Being present in the moment slows that down, and helps calm us. I've found looking for photograph set ups is a good way to appreciate the little things. I notice the 'good light' as the sun goes down, the pretty flowers in the street, the strange and funny things that abound around us. You don't need extra time for this - the walk to school, the trip to the shopping centre, picking the kids up from soccer. It's just noticing what's around you in your daily activities.

Audio books - if you aren't getting time for the therapeutic book in the bath, or even to read, then audio books as you drive are the perfect way to 'read' new books and treat yourself. I was driving for two and half hours each day when visiting Dad in the hospital as he slowly died over a number of months. It was physically draining and distressing. However, if I listened to great books, I would not only be emotionally better on arrival at the hospital (my thoughts had been distracted), but the time in the car was barely noticeable, because I was enjoying it! I've said it before, but Augusten Burrough's 'This is How' really got me through a difficult time, and I was able to make the most of my visits with Dad. They are all my family is a really brilliant story. But your library will have plenty, new and old to choose from.

Ideally we have time to go for a swim in a beautiful outdoor pool, or run on the beach, or even the time it takes to go to the gym and do a class but often we don't. So these are great self care methods for me while I'm still doing the tasks I need to do.

What do you do for self care?

Linking with #ZTT #MummyMondays #KCACOLS and #StayClassyMama

22 comments:

  1. Getting out into nature and forgetting about the digital world really helps for me. I think this relates to your exercise one, because it usually involves a big walk!

    Di from Max The Unicorn

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  2. Easy tips to implement and I think that is the key. If we try to aim too high we don't sustain our 'self care'. Simple things like being active and reading can do wonders not just for our physical health but also our mental health. I started today with Mondayitis but after some yoga, weights and a podcast I felt ready to take on the week. Have a great week! x

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  3. Singing loudly absolutey yes - and focing yourself to breathe and notice the sights and sounds around you. I missed my walks last week and work was exhausting, but even on the bus I could notice things - if I remembered to look, that is.

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  4. Some great ideas - moving is my favourite! A run really clears out the cobwebs but a walk is just as good! I’m with you on helping others - I volunteer at the Asylum Seekers Centre and it always feels so good to give back. Reading is another one of my favorites!

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  5. It's just moving and helping others for me as well. Thanks for the suggestion of audio books. Takes me back to the long car trips of my childhood.

    SSG xxx

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  6. I agree with previous comment - turning off the computer, TV, etc and going for a walk always makes me happy.

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  7. Some good tips here. I walk outdoors and do some type of exercises every day, try to eat healthy, look for humour, and get enough sleep. #lifethisweek

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  8. I always enjoy listening to podcasts while out for a walk in the forest. We all seem to spend too much time looking at screens so I need to get up and move away more often. I also like massages and a bit of a pamper every now and again :) Your ideas and insights are spot on! #Lifethisweek

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  9. Walks by the sea I find really calming, but I like your idea of audiobooks
    #twinklytuesday

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  10. I will always be grateful for your recommendation of This is How as I have bought the book so I could quote from it. I found myself nodding to so much you wrote here. No doubt about it, self-care is being better caring for you so you can better care for others!! I have decided this week that I need to go back to having my legs waxed (little hair there really) and eye brows done, and have a remedial massage because all I have been concentrating on is cancer recoveries. It is a good sign I feel like doing these others now!
    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week's optional prompt is: 8/51. My Favourite Decade. 25/2/19. Denyse.

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  11. This is such a great list. I'm a big fan of all of these, but you're especially right about photography. When I'm out with my camera suddenly everything is beautiful and nothing is a rush. I must do that more - thanks!

    Anita Faulkner - Brazen Mummy Writes
    #twinklytuesday

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  12. I am a strong believer in self care and find exercise a great help with stress X #stayclassymama

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  14. I am so glad you mentioned helping others. I find getting my mind off of myself is a great booster in my own morale. Thanks for your post. #KCACOLS

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  15. Getting outside works for me. That or getting in my car and turning the music up LOUD! Thanks for linking up #twinklytuesday

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  16. It's so great to see music on one of these lists. I adore music and can disappear into a favourite album. For my birthday my mum in law bought me a large bubble lamp with a built in speaker so I can listen to my favourite music with the sensory addition of bubbles and colour changing water! It's amazing I love it. Thank you for sharing. I will share this post for you as Self care is so important #KCACOLS

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    1. Thanks for the share. Music and dancing have become HUGE for me. It's amazing how restorative it is

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  17. I'm with you all the way on exercise, it is so underrated but has such a positive effect. #DreamTeam

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  18. Lots of things help but exercise really is a major factor. Too bad it's so hard to do it and stick with it. It's especially hard when you're feeling low which is when you need it the most. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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  19. These are all things I do too except I haven't yet tried an audio book (but I'd like to)! Lying in a bath in a darkened room lit by candlelight listening to an audio book sounds to me like heaven! Like you, I find photography fantastic for making me be mindful and present. It's relaxing and slows down my busy mind. Thank you for linking up with #ZTT

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  20. I'm not big on self-care, but I can't quite put my finger on why. Mostly my self-care involves showers and chocolate.

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  21. Going for a walk. Sewing. Feeling like I have done something in the house. Music is definitely a biggie for me too. Great post #KCACOLS

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