Self-care is not a glorified act for the odd few. As our global current needs show, self-care is increasingly essential for everyone to meet the demands of everyday life.
Over the past year in particular, self-care has been paramount. With the threats of COVID and widespread fears for health, it has prompted everyone to take extra care of themselves, and do what they can to boost immunity, combat disease, enhance positivity, and improve well-being.
But what exactly is self-care, and how can it help women?
Self-care is more than having a day off to chill. It includes all the things you can do or be, to take care of your well-being in four key areas: your emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health.
In my many years in the healing arts and guiding women to greater self-empowerment, I have seen time and time again how women have tended to put themselves last, or even feel that self-care is selfish.
More often than not, hectic busy lifestyles and juggling too many things (motherhood, career, and more), leave little time to consider or focus on one’s own well-being.
A lot of women have underpinning feelings of undeserving, guilt or shame; or certain beliefs about what they believe they ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’, be or do.
There is also the influence of collective and past conditioning, where women have been submissive, sacrificing themselves or suppressing their feminine self and female power – out of fear, confusion or uncertainty.
Your personal, inherited family patterns will have an impact too. In your relationships and family dynamics, you may automatically take on specific roles and ways of being that have been learned through your upbringing, that become your habits and patterns. These affect how you think, feel mmand act. Whilst patterns can be helpful, some can become limiting and we have out-grown them – yet we may still hold on because they are familiar and ‘safe’.
However, things are changing: Women are stepping out, speaking up and rising into their power. Our ability to self-care is also related to our self-worth, self-value, self-respect, and self-love – the cornerstones for being and feeling empowered as a woman.
As we come into this new decade and new era, loving yourself – and putting your deeper needs and inner connection as a priority – is the new Self Care for Women in 2021.
It will still cover whatever steps you need to take good care of your body and health (and meet daily responsibilities), but it will also:
- Empower yourself to your true confidence, self-esteem and self-acceptance.
- Heal the blockages and mindsets that keep you feeling small, unworthy, underserving and insignificant.
- Connect to your innermost self and open to your truth, intuition, creativity, and purpose for being in the world.
- Develop true self-love (through inner connection), so you can rise and shine.
Self-Care Tips for 2021
- Schedule time in your day to focus on you. Ditch the ‘no-time-busy schedule’ excuse or other distractions, and make a point of allocating at least 5-10 mins of your day for yourself. Schedule this in your calendar, as a regular ‘no compromise’, so it doesn’t get overlooked. The time allocated will build an energy momentum, so the Universe creates the space to help you make it happen.
- Self-Care Sunday: Allocate Sundays, or another day a week, for a deeper self-care practice. This may include pampering like an essential oil face mask, massage/foot massage, as well as an expressive art activity, uplifting podcast, meditation, healing, journaling, reflecting on your hearts desires, focusing on your dreams, etc.
- Pause breaks: Stretch your arms and body throughout the day to relieve tension.
- Breathe to release: Regularly ‘let go’ any stress, worry or anxiety. Make a cup of tea, put down the phone and all your devices. Take some deep breaths. and intend and feel the stress and burden lift from your shoulders and body. Say in your head: ‘I let it all go’ – then do so.
- Go for a walk in Nature with no specific goal. Be ‘present’ to the moment. Open yourself to feel the Elements around you.
- Have a relaxing bath or foot bath with essential oils like Lavender, Geranium, Frankincense, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang. Focus on the sensations and re-balancing effects.
- In the shower release all worry, stress, burden, as the water comes down and cleanses it all away. In the bath, add Epsom or Himalayan salt to detox and recharge.
- Massage/ self-massage /foot massage
- Get enough rest, sleep and exercise. These are essential.
- Eat healthy, nutritious and regular meals. Make sure you are getting the right nourishment, vitamins and minerals.
- Yoga, movement or dance, to relax.
- Meditate or try the Self-Care Meditation below*
- Draw, paint or do something creative to express yourself.
- Create a vision board or mind map of how you want to live your life. View it often to keep your energy focused and uplift you.
- Try energy healing & crystals to relax, de-stress and re-balance, as well as raise your vibration.
- Heal suppressed emotions and energy blocks through energy healing, or a preferred therapy session or technique, or self-awareness tools.
- De-tox & De-clutter: your home or physical environment, your personal/energetic space, your mind (old beliefs) and emotions. Let go thoughts, habits and choices that no longer serve you, as well as toxic friendships or draining situations that affect your well-being and do not support your self-care.
- Create healthy boundaries: learn to say no when you need to. Don’t neglect your own well-being over others.
- Journal, express or talk through your feelings and thoughts – let it out.
- Reflect on your day and how you felt. Be honest with yourself.
- Feel gratitude for all that you are and have in your life. Keep a daily journal where you write down what you are grateful for, and feel your life shift.
- Connect to your Soul: Create time and space to go within to connect to your inner core self and reveal your inner truth. Reflect on: What do you want from life? What do you need to let go of? What is meaningful to you? What are your hearts-desires? How can you feel more love?
- Develop a healthy mindset, and focus on emotions like love, joy, peace, bliss.
- Repeat daily positive power statements. Eg. ‘I am balanced, peaceful and calm’; ‘I am safe, here and now’; ‘I do the best I can’; ‘I trust I am healthy and well’; ‘My mind is calm, my body relaxed’; ‘I treat myself with respect and kindness’; ‘I deserve it’; ‘I open to self-love’.
- Focus on your strengths, talents and gifts. Learn to appreciate yourself, and to cultivate self-love, self-compassion, self -respect.
- Connect to loved ones more often and share your love.
- Build new friendships.
- Contribute: do something that adds meaning or value to your life.
- Try something new. Eg a new hobby or learning, a new approach or way of being.
- Take one more action step towards your dreams.
- Do what brings you joy, fulfills you or lights up your heart and soul.
- Make yourself and your self-care a priority.
- Accept and Be YOU!
Self-care is not selfish. Choose to make 2021 your year to love, empower and take care of you. You are worthy and totally deserve it!
Self-Care Meditation – do any time of day
- Take some deep breaths in and out, relax and let go (say in your head “I let go’). Feel the stress, anxiety, burden and worry lift from you.
- Imagine a ball of golden or white light above your head and the light comes down and in a shower of light, cleansing and clearing your body and space around you (aura). The light then creates a bubble of light. You are safe and protected.
- Open to feel self-love and light from inside you. Focus on the centre of your chest, your heart chakra. It is like a flower and visualize it’s petals open and blossom, and a loving, pink, nurturing light emerges and expands to fill the whole of the chest, then fills the whole of the body. Put your hand on the chest and give yourself permission to feel this loving, gentle energy. You deserve it.
- As you bring your focus inwards, you may like to ask your inner self-soul to step forward and guide you. Reflect on areas of your life, ask your inner self questions and find the answers you seek. This is your unique truth.
- And /or come back to the inner self space, that inner silence and stillness. Feel nurtured, nourished and held, in this loving and gentle space. Be present to the feelings. Be present to the True ‘You’ and your inner authentic power.