Sometimes, acknowledging our commitments and sharing them with others adds a layer of accountability. Today, I open up to you about my personal self-care habits, recognising the power of transparency and commitment as well as hoping that they will encourage you to maintain and develop your own nurturing self-care.
During the lockdown, I embarked on a year-long journey of daily line drawings—an endeavour that brought joy, mindfulness, and a touch of playfulness into my routine. Now, I’m excited to reintroduce this practice, using it as a springboard to engage in daily paintings or collages. Creative moments are not just an outlet; they’re a sanctuary where I explore, express, and connect with my emotions.
Study is an important part of who I am now – I love to learn and for a while now my focus has been studying mental health, hypnotherapy and creative practices. I find that while I might not always relish the challenge of writing an essay I do always relish challenging myself.
The lockdowns took a toll on my overall health and fitness. To reclaim vitality, I turned my attention to nurturing my gut biome by significantly reducing my sugar intake. The impact was profound—increased energy levels and diminished cravings have really helped me to feel good about myself.
A visit to the physiotherapist for neck pain unexpectedly led me to the gym. Exploring different classes, I discovered a love for Barre and Stretch and Tone sessions. But my commitment to well-being extends beyond the gym walls. Nature walks and time spent in my garden serve as rejuvenating rituals, connecting me with the serenity of the outdoors and the grounding, revitalising power of being in nature.
Skincare is an integral part of my self-care routine. Moisturiser and eye cream aren’t just beauty rituals; they’re acts of self-love that I have come to embrace over time after a lifetime of neglect!
As I invest in my physical well-being, connecting with loved ones has always been an equally vital aspect. Whether it’s a heartfelt conversation, a dance session, or simply sharing a meal, these moments anchor me in a supportive network.
Dancing has also always been more than just a form of exercise for me; it’s a celebration of life. In those moments of rhythmic movement, I find liberation and joy. Complementing these physical practices, I’ve long embraced self-hypnosis—a tool that delves into the power of the subconscious, fostering resilience and inner strength and which only needs a moment or two.
When not spent with friends leisurely evenings often involve TV dramas or reading a book—a deliberate choice to unwind and escape into captivating narratives. And when the day winds down, I engage in a form of personal reflection and relaxation through self-hypnosis.
As I reflect on my self-care journey, I’m reminded of the importance of balance. It’s about embracing the simplicity of a daily drawing while also challenging myself with new fitness pursuits. It’s savouring the serenity of nature walks while relishing the excitement of a dynamic dance session. From the mindful strokes of a paintbrush to the invigorating stretches in a gym class, every element contributes to a holistic approach to well-being.
While I write this I realise that I’m painting an idealistic picture of what I would like my life to be like all the time – often I find that I have lost track of this sense of balance I’ve been describing and have to recommit or reassess what I have time for and what my priorities are. Committing to self-care isn’t about rigid routines; it’s a dynamic and evolving journey. Through sharing my personal practices, I hope to inspire and encourage you to explore what nourishes your mind, body, and soul. Together, let’s celebrate the beauty of self-care, one intentional action at a time.
PS I’ve forgotten to mention
- A relaxing bath
- And so much more!
Resources – I have no affiliation to any of the below resources and do not benefit from recommending them except that they have all been helpful to me and I hope that they might be useful to you
I’ve found this book very helpful in my pursuit of painting daily
I found the book The Artist’s Way very helpful in using art practices to achieve my goals and be more mindful in my lifestyle
If you want to try a new approach to drawing then this book is a perfect place to start
If you fancy studying and don’t know where to start or don’t have much time then the website has lots of free short courses offered by different universities
When I’m finding it difficult to get to the gym or to go out dancing then these dance exercise videos are a reasonably priced system that I follow at home
If you like cooking as a form of self-care then how about trying mindful cooking?
I used this app to help me cut down on sugar, it is full of great advice, information, recipes and meal plans and is completely free.
Kushner, Robert F. MD; Kessler, Sheila; McGaghie, William C. PhD. Using Behavior Change Plans to Improve Medical Student Self-Care. Academic Medicine 86(7):p 901-906, July 2011. | DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31821da193
Weiss, Lillie, (2004) A Therapist’s Guide to Self Care, Brunner- Routledge
Norcross, John & VanDenBos, Gary, (2018) Leaving it in the Office: A Guide to Psychotherapist Self-Care, The Guildford Press
Charlotte Baker & Lynne Gabriel (2021) Exploring how therapists engage in self-care in times of personal distress, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 49:3, 435-444, DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2021.1885010
Barbieri P, Sarasso P, Lodico F, Aliverti A, Murayama K, Sacco K, Ronga I. The aesthetic valve: how aesthetic appreciation may switch emotional states from anxiety to curiosity. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2024 Jan 29;379(1895):20220413. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2022.0413. Epub 2023 Dec 18. PMID: 38104608; PMCID: PMC10725764.