Making Self-Care a Daily Habit

self-care

 

A common side-effect of practicing mindfulness is that we start to notice the ways in which we neglect our well-being. Whether it’s unhealthy habits or addictions, stresses in our lives, or unkind judgemental thoughts about ourselves, in becoming more mindful we see these issues with greater clarity. With this new awareness can often come a desire to start treating ourselves with more care.

 

For those of us who have been self-critical or neglectful of our well-being throughout our lives, self-care may at first feel a little awkward and unfamiliar. We might also not be so good at recognising when we need it. Developing a new, caring attitude towards ourselves can take time as we undo a lot of old, ingrained uncaring patterns and habits.

At first we might only notice that we need self-care when we feel really low, like when we have the flu or when our depression is really bad. This is a great first step! However, self-care doesn’t have to end there. We can turn acts of self-care into a daily habit. With practice it may even start to come as naturally to us as brushing our teeth!

Although small self-caring actions are better than none at all, to truly cement self-care into our natural way of being it may be useful to intentionally set aside at least 30 minutes a day to do something nice for yourself or to simply rest. That way you stop everything else that you’re doing and just focus on you.

It could be that you take some time after work to do a relaxing yoga routine so that you can enjoy the rest of your evening, or that you go to bed earlier than usual to read a book. Or you might make a healthy meal with all of your favourite ingredients.

It could even be that you sign into Netflix and order a pizza, just as long as you’re doing it with that intention of treating yourself nicely, rather than as a distraction or zoning out.

Far from being selfish or self-indulgent, developing a daily self-care habit can give us more energy and resilience to deal with all other aspects of our lives. Over time, we can find balance in an unpredictable world.

 

The Mindfulness Project offers a range of courses and workshops focused on self-compassion, including the 8-Week Mindful Self-Compassion Course. 

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8 thoughts on “Making Self-Care a Daily Habit”

  • Marina

    Meditation, Tea, scrapbooking, time with friends, board games and yoga with my kids, lunch dates and long curious conversations with my husband

    Reply
  • Beth

    I also enjoy long conversations with my husband, we are both venturing into mindfulness meditations, so it is very meaningful to be on this journey together.

    I am going through a difficult time with my daughter and so, I do practice meditation to be grounded and centered in kindness and in seeking wisdom.

    Going for walks, taking photos of flowers, talking to close friends who are spiritual and practice meditation really help me.

    Reply
    • TMP Admin

      That's so nice that you can share your experience with your husband Beth. It always helps to have a meditation buddy or two!

      Reply
  • Hayley

    This was a really nice article to read, very uplifting.
    I always say to others, that I don't have time to do something nice/fun when I'm on my own. I always have too much to do and go to bed when I'm too shattered to do more.
    But actually, I always make the effort to cook myself a good meal, so that is my way of being productive (as I have to eat), yet having nice time to myself :) Thanks :)

    Reply
    • TMP Admin

      Thank you for your feedback Hayley! Cooking is such a great way to practice mindfulness when you really focus your attention on what you're doing rather than it being another 'chore'.

      Reply
  • Hi, thanks for the post.

    I like the way you describe the intention of doing something for yourself as being the key. Like watching a film and eating fast food isn't bad or good on its own, but its the context within which it occurs that is key. I know I like chocolate, but I can eat too much when it's about zoning out.

    Self-care is a compassionate act and you need to practice mindful awareness in order for you to do this well. It helps me do self-care mindfully, which is different to satisfying a craving or an urge.

    Many thanks,
    Jim

    Reply
    • TMP Admin

      We're glad you like the post Jim. Thank you for your helpful insights - that's so all so important. Warm Wishes!

      Reply
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