Be good to yourself
Taking good care of your mind, body and soul is so important for your own well-being and has a knock-on effect across all aspects of your life. It’s for every day, not just when you get sick or allow yourself an occasional treat. Self-care includes, but is not limited to learning how to eat healthily, reducing stress, exercising appropriately and regularly and taking time out for 'me time'. Self-care (also known as self-compassion or self-love) is great for your own well-being and self-esteem, but it’s also valuable for friends and family, as those closest to you will benefit too.
When you think about it, taking care of yourself makes absolute sense, it’s not selfish or indulgent – when you are strong and in a good place, you can help others more easily too.
Key aspects of self-care
People can be very good at going out of their way to be kind to others, but when it comes to self-care they are often at the back of the queue. It might be connected to a belief in putting others first or a feeling that they don’t deserve it.
Treating yourself lovingly with respect, thoughtfulness, consideration and kindness, as you would others is a great place to start. You will be able to give more to yourself as you become attentive to your own needs and desires.
When you are kind to yourself you can begin to see yourself more positively, appreciate your uniqueness and what you have to offer. The world seems a better place and you are more likely to communicate effectively with yourself and others too.
Nourish your body with healthy foods and find ways to prepare nutritious foods you love in a way that works for you. It might be that the art of cooking is a way for you to relax and that’s a great way to exercise self-love.
When it comes to exercise and therapies, think about how your body feels and pay attention to any aches and pains you may have. Choose exercise or therapy that will heal your body and alleviate any problems you may have. What does your body need? And, how can you incorporate it into your life in a meaningful way?
Relaxation, mindfulness and meditation offer a range of ways to nurture mind, body and soul. More and more people are adding these valuable practices to their everyday lives to manage stress and create a calm mind.
The way you connect with yourself is vital to the way you see the world. Many people speak to themselves in hurtful ways using language they wouldn’t dream of using with anyone else. It can be easy to get into a cycle of destructive language, that assumes the worst and berates your own best efforts. When you start to pay attention to how you speak to yourself, you will begin to see patterns emerging and will be better-placed to change this dialogue. Transforming your negative-self talk to positive self-talk will change your outlook on life too.
Here is an interesting exercise to try:
- Complete three random acts of kindness for each group:
- Notice the difference between the three groups:
What did you feel, and which were easier to do?
What thoughts did you have?
What happened to your state as you were doing this?
Working with an NLP coach can help you better understand your relationship with yourself and self-care. You may discover patterns you’ve developed around putting other’s before you or engaging in negative self-talk. A coach will be able to support you with change to move forward with better self-care to a position where you can enjoy yourself and life more.
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