So in one of my previous posts, I talked about just how important self-care is for emotional, mental and physical well-being. I like to think of it at medicine because seriously, Dr’s should actually be prescribing this stuff!
So often I get asked this question; “I don’t know what I enjoy, what do I do?”. I’ve noticed that this question usually comes up when we have neglected ourselves for too long and are at a point where we need it so badly, that we can’t think of what we like to do. So today, I’m going to help you get back to the loved and nurtured you!
Firstly, something I find really helpful is my self-care prescription; a list of five things that help me to unwind, turn off and recharge. A reminder list that I can easily refer to when I need to pause. It’s on my fridge and on my phone so there’s no excuse and they can be done almost anywhere.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. If you can’t even think of one thing to do, how will you come up with five?! It’s ok, I’ve got your back! But first I want you to consider this;
is it that you can’t come up with something to do, or that you can’t find something you feel like doing in that moment?
What difference does that make? Well, basically, when we’re sitting in the feeling mindset, we’re looking for motivation. You’re not going to feel like going for a walk when you’ve got a to-do list is a mile long and it’s cold outside. So instead, we need to decide to act out way into feeling, not feel our way into acting. I promise you, the earlier will produce results, the later will not.
So to fix this, I live by the rule that I need to be open to trying something three times before I decide we don’t like it. Trust me, the thing you may think you don’t like is usually the very thing that, when you give it a chance is the most helpful tool in your toolbox (I was NEVER going to meditate, now I’m never going to live without it).
So, to kick you off, I put together a list of my top ten, most effective self-care activities! And any links below are not affiliates, I don’t get anything for recommending them (but I should cos I ALWAYS talk about them!), they’re just generally my go-to’s.
- Move Your Body. A short walk, a ten-minute stretch or pilates workout (I love the Sworkit app for its customisable stretching and pilates workouts that I can do inside!) or a bike ride to your local park/ beach/supermarket, where ever. Remember it doesn’t have to be a long activity! If you prefer group exercise, book in for a class at your local gym, yoga studio or community group.
- Listen to a Podcast. Some of my faves are:
- The Refined Collective podcast by Kat Harris
- The Heart of Dating by Kait Warman
- Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
- The Osher Gunsberg Podcast by Osher Gunsberg
- Take a bath or go for a swim. Submerge yourself in water and just breathe. Water is super therapeutic and you’ll probably find just being near water will help soothe your body and mind. If you don’t have a bath, pool or beach, just have a nice hot shower.
- Meditate I love the apps below for great guided meditations and mindfulness for beginners. Great for unwinding after a big day or quieting a noisy mind.
- Go out to a cafe for a coffee. If you work from home or study or just generally spend a lot of time in the same space, you may be surprised at just how much a change of scenery and a good coffee (or a good smoothie) can boost your mood and your productivity.
- Take a nap. If you’re pushed for time, I’ve heard twenty minutes is the scientifically proven ideal nap time, but if you have the time, I always suggest allowing your body to rest as long as it needs. And always make space for a sleep in or an early night when you need it!
- Watch an episode of your favourite TV series. Sometimes mindlessly burying yourself in a storyline can be super therapeutic. This is one of my go-to activities when I am managing a lot of emotional stress and struggling to switch off.
- Colour In. Adult colouring books are proven to lower stress hormones and increase creativity (and they just happen to be another one of my favourite activities). Recently, a male friend was telling me about how his psychologist had recommended he grab some adult colouring books and spend time colouring in to help manage emotions and unwind. At first, he thought it was ridiculous, but since trying it, he’s said it’s been both super helpful and really enjoyable. Creative flair or not, definitely give it a go!
- Journal. Writing down your thoughts, your feelings, and/or make a list of every single thing on your mental to-do list. Writing things down, even if they make zero sense, has a powerful effect on emptying out all the noise and clearing your head. I personally try and do this every day and find it does wonders!
- Take time to enjoy a cup of tea. It may sound similar to the coffee concept but this one is more about switching off and really relaxing. One of my favourite things to do when I’m feeling like life is a bit crazy is to curl up on the couch with a herbal tea and good book or some gentle music and just stop. Herbal tea also has amazing health benefits!
So that’s my top ten. A little side note, if you’re a people person who recharges from spending time connecting with your nearest and dearest (Mr Prigg definitely is), I’d also suggest making sure that one of your list items (I really suggest only one, because it’s important that the activities on the list don’t heavily rely on the availability of others), is focused on connecting with your loved ones, like a phone call or cuppa with your best friend, your mum, partner, sister or brother, who-ever it is that fills up your cup.
NOW MY CHALLENGE TO YOU IS THIS:
I mentioned that Dr’s should actually be writing prescriptions for this self-care, but since they won’t, I’ve done it for you. Download your very own FREE self-care prescription and pick 5 things that most appeal to you. (If you think of something that you love that’s not on my list then pop that on there. If you can’t find 5 things that you feel like doing, pick at least 3 that you don’t and try them each at least three times before you replace them.)
Pop your list on the fridge or somewhere you’ll see it every day and take a photo of it for your phone. Over the next 3 weeks spend twenty minutes a day, doing something from the list! (I pop a reminder or alarm on your phone so that every day you get a prompt).
Friend, you have got this!! I’m so pumped to hear just how much you’ll love this. Share your list with me over on Instagram @mrsprigg so that I can cheer along-side you and hear all about your progress!
Until next time,