In a busy world, filled with family, career, friends, and responsibilities, it is very easy to neglect the captain of the ship: you. Prioritising your own well-being is not selfish, it makes you are more patient, receptive, productive and well-rounded person. Better still, you can do small acts of kindness for yourself without spending enormous amounts of time and money.
If putting yourself first doesn’t come naturally to you, try finding a couple of five-minute ‘blocks’ during the day to practice and work from there. Note how it makes you feel – and enjoy the process of taking care of yourself as well as you do everyone else.
– Try a five-minute meditation, twice a day. It takes practice and be patient with yourself – simply breathe calmly and be still.
– Read something that interests you – not work-related, not for the sake of others, not to learn something; simply for enjoyment and to feed your soul.
– Enjoy a cuppa – avoid the temptation to always have your coffee on the run. Tea and coffee are steeped in ritual. Stop for a moment. Savour it.
– Have a soak in the bath or a long shower. Water is therapeutic.
– Occasionally, push the boundaries – stay up too late, or have that second glass of wine. Laugh loudly and tell silly jokes. Surround yourself with people who know how to see the light side of life.
– Know when to ask for help and seek it out. People love to help!
– Make sure you see a sunrise or sunset regularly.
– Turn your phone off for a portion of the day, or night.
– Eat with your hands — it isn’t just for kids – find some wonderful fruit – pomegranate, mango, blackberries. Be messy!
– Keep track of your thoughts in a journal and see if you can observe any patterns developing. Write the odd spot of poetry. Writing can be a form of meditation.
– Cat-nap in the sun for a few minutes.
– Learn what things are best for you to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to and stick to your answers.
– Smile at people (and yourself, when you look in the mirror)
– Give compliments freely and learn to accept them graciously.
– Exercise – quiet meditation isn’t for everyone, but you can ‘find yourself’ equally while walking in a beautiful park, gardening, swimming or riding a bike.
Giving yourself small gifts of time and experience helps you to feel enriched as a person. This in turn will give you the energy to do the same for others. It is a wonderful cycle to begin.