Let’s get this clear once and for all: self-care is not selfish, it’s essential! We understand how hard it is to get into a new routine when you’re already in a funk. It’s tricky to remember that your mental health is just as important as that work deadline or your friend who is going through a really tough time. After all, it's a lot easier to focus on someone else's issues than to tackle your own. But in order to be emotionally available for others we need to put ourselves first so that we can give the most back!
Think about it this way - on an aeroplane, parents are told to put their oxygen masks on before they help their children in an emergency. This isn't because all parents are expected to be selfish but because they physically wouldn't be able to assist those in need without oxygen. That's the way we want you to address self-care.
So, how can we incorporate more mental wellbeing practices into our lives and make them as habitual as cleaning our teeth? It won’t feel natural at the beginning: it can take around 21 days for our subconscious minds to take on a new habit, so we need to learn how to re-train our thoughts. Here’s how to start...
Take stock of where you are
Firstly, it’s important to come to terms with how you're feeling. If you’re overwhelmed, stressed, tired or fed up, it most likely means your body is craving some self-care. The hardest part of this process is accepting that you may need a bit of TLC and this help initially needs to come from you. Knowing when to step back or reach out is vital in accepting self-care as a selfless act.
Pick one new thing and stick to it
‘Baby steps' is the phrase we’re going with here! Adding one small habit into your already busy routine will assure you stick to something that’s helpful but also realistic. Choose a task that you can commit to; like a weekly yoga class, giving yourself an extra hour of sleep or caring for your plants - whatever pops into your head first! Our bodies are usually quite good at telling us what we need, so listen out for signs!
Make space in your routine
Self-care doesn't always require loads of energy and time! As well adding a new activity to your daily ritual, become aware of how you can include mindfulness in everyday chores, like ironing and cooking. Try not to distract yourself with any other entertainment and use this time to enjoy some peace and quiet. Allow your mind to wander, breathe deeply and concentrate on one thing. Completely absorbing ourselves in a task has been proven to have a very positive effect on our wellbeing, and in this case it will get your household tasks done too!
Get closer to nature
Looking after plants has been shown to boost our sense of wellbeing, leading to positive feelings such as self-mastery and compassion for ourselves and others. This engagement can include anything from dusting your plant’s foliage, to closely monitoring its growth, to repotting it in nutrient-rich soil. As your plant care becomes ingrained, you will begin to find refuge in the act of it and while caring for your green friends you may even start to appreciate the nurturing beauty of care in its entirety.
Some plants need more love than others, so take this as an opportunity to find a plant that will challenge you. Our collection of Boost Plants require slightly more active care, which will enable you to build a truly nurturing relationship with your plants.
However you decide to practice self-care, remember that you are not selfish or self-involved to seek a healthy, happy life! After all, the better we feel in ourselves, the more we will have to give to everything and everyone around us. That's why self-care is the opposite of selfish.