When was the last time you properly put yourself first? Before your kids, your work, your cats or your gecko? Ages ago, I’m not taking the piss here, we need to accept (especially as women!) – self care isn’t selfish, here is how I do it. (apologies in advance for all the bad jokes).
Pilates? I thought you said pie and lattes!
This post is going to be a little round up of ways to be sure you’re looking after number one, expect tonnes of mo quo’s and probably some bad ass jokes (or just bad). Because you know what they* say “you can’t pour from an empty cup!”. * don’t know who “they” are (answers on a postcard).
The first one I want to address is guilty. I don’t have much to say except please try and stop fucking feeling it, for what you say, what you do and what you eat just stop.
Second big dirty word is diet. This might take a while, but be patient. The word diet brings up so many feelings in people, and it seems to come with negative connotations like deprivation, boring and weight loss. Lets start seeing it for what it really means, our eating habits. Not a programme to follow to reach a goal, its literally just what we habitually eat.
Lastly, forget about feeling lazy or saying lazy like it’s a bad thing. Sometimes we need to rest, that is not being lazy. Or maybe it is but being lazy is so effing good like put your feet up get your dressing gown on, we are about to have fun.
“Time You Enjoy Wasting, Isn’t Wasted Time” – John Lennon (maybe)
So, lets get to what you can do for you, to take better care of yourself and start putting your needs first, because “self care doesn’t equal selfish”
Nourish Your Body
Long term, I do suggest taking a look at your diet. I am not saying join Sandra and Christine from the playground in Slimming World (sin>syn any day), this is not about weight loss, but consider what you eat the most of on the regular. Purely because eating better gets the bowels moving, the cogs rolling and the ticker ticking, ask yourself the question (for the most part, 8 times out of 10, more often than not) “Is what I’m eating going to benefit me?”. You don’t have to be eating organic steamed home grown oats for breakfast 8 days a week, or having half a chicken breast and 3 asparagus straws for lunch and dinner, but you should at least be able to read the ingredients on the label. 10 points to Gryffindor if your food comes without a label.
Once you’ve got that question in your head please apply it to the treats you love! Yes a giant bar of Galaxy will benefit you if it’s what you really want, and it will benefit you too to go out for the evening and order 3 courses! Why shouldn’t we enjoy food we’ve been brought up on and that truly makes our chops slobber!? Yes Dominos pizza is 79,000 calories a slice, but I am watching Netflix for 16 hours straight I deserve it, I’ve had a rough week, I’ve looked after my body for the most part and looked after all my peoples, so I’m going to enjoy what I want and I’ll do it GUILT FREE. For me, knowing I’ve had a go at taking care of my body and making my mother proud, when I do eat shit I don’t feel guilty. Maybe it’s because I am greedy and an emotional eater, but if it makes me feel good you better believe I won’t be feeling bad for doing it.
“Yeah I’m into fitness…fitness whole pizza in my mouth”
Nourish Your Mind
I think we should all be able to allocate some time to embrace and do the things we love. I appreciate lives are busy so as much as we would all love a 6 month holiday twice a year, I’m talking listening to an audiobook while you cook the tea, reading celeb goss on the way to work, playing your favourite songs while scrubbing the bog (go on Cinders I’ve got your back!). If you’ve got kids, do stuff with them you loved as a kid! I don’t mean egg the neighbours houses or set shit on fire outside peoples doors (do it if you want but don’t blame me when you get arrested). Make home made play doh, play hide and seek, pretend you’ve got no lecky or internet*. Honestly, nostalgia is the best! Board games can really take you back, if you’re a carer for an older person, I can’t tell you how much joy I’m sure a game would make them (and you!!). Fuck it, even if you haven’t got kids, set up that blanket fort and hide under there (even if you are only working under the sheet and it keeps falling on your head, it’s good for a laugh).
*careful with this one, I realised the other day what people got up to with no lecky or wifi back in the day, when my friend told me her Father in Law has 52 first cousins.
“Keep Calm & Build A Blanket Fort” – Unknown
I think they’re the two most important things to consider, but I’d like to add a little list of other things to bare in mind, so here goes!
- where possible, speak your mind. Don’t go telling Pauline from HR that her Chanel No5 gives you a headache, but do tell Graham from Reception you can’t read his handwriting. As terrifying as it is, it almost always feels better to get it off your chest.
- embrace equity over equality. As lovely as it is to know we are being treated equally, it doesn’t always translate to fair which is far more important! Equality is 50/50 down the middle, equity is a balance of who can do more (for whatever reason!) doing it where possible.
- don’t feel guilty for your choices. If you feel like sitting in bed all day is what you need, as long as you’re not ignoring non negotiable responsibilities then go for it. Buy yourself the shoes you want providing you’re not going to be walking to work until the end of the month (unless you want to that is!), eat the pizza, go heavy on the eyeliner, the world is your oyster!
Finally, be kind to yourself. Don’t say the words to yourself either out loud or in your mind, that you would cut a bitch for saying about your sister or your bezzy. Yanowarramean!? Also, be kind to others, as the saying goes, “what Suzy says of Sally, says more of Suzy than of Sally”. To find out the questions I ask myself before I comment (sometimes cos I’m only human and I love to speak before I think!). What are your favourite self care tips? Look after yourself x