You might know that looking after yourself is important, but do you have a toolkit of just how to go about putting yourself centre stage in your own life? Nourishment doesn’t just start and end with nutrition (although obviously good nutrition is one of the most fundamental building blocks of looking after yourself). Nourishment also means looking after you, on all levels, physical, emotional and spiritual. We can’t wait to share with you our top 5 techniques to putting yourself first and living your most healthy, happy and contented life.
One: Learn to Set Healthy Boundaries
Sometimes it might feel as if taking care of your own needs before others is selfish, and there are some who might try to convince you this is the case. However, it is most definitely not so!
Taking care of ‘you’ is common sense. To take care of others, you must first take care of yourself so that you are well resourced to support those you love as best you can.
One of the easiest ways to start setting healthy boundaries is by practising saying “no thanks” rather than “yes” (especially when yes would be out of a sense of duty).
Over-giving out of a sense of obligation or responsibility often leads to disappointment and depletion. Giving to others from a resourced and authentic wish to be involved nurtures both you, and your relationships. This means that you show up in healthy ways for others, whilst putting yourself first! It’s a win-win!
Two: Start Your Day With Something For You
If your number one thing is your fitness, then get to the gym or out on your run as soon as you are up. If cultivating stillness is how you need to start your day, then ease yourself into your meditation practice. If you need a quiet cuppa to open the day, then make space for it to happen.
It doesn’t need to be to the detriment of anything else – for example, if your thing is becoming a writer, set the alarm half an hour earlier and take that half an hour to write.
Make it yours.
Own your priority.
On the flip side: remember that if YOU don’t make it a priority, it won't ever be a priority. No-one will do this for you.
If you start your day with your number one thing you are setting the precedent for the rest of your day – and it will set the precedent for the rest of life.
Choose your priorities and build them into your daily routine. Then notice how everything else fits in comfortably. The distractions and the things that you don’t need in your life will start to fall away, leaving it filled with all those things of much higher meaning and importance to you.
Three: Do The Thing You’re Putting Off!
You know that nagging feeling when there is something you need to be doing for yourself, something that when you do it feels like it should be a priority, but you’re putting it off.
Maybe you’re filling your time with doing other things like chores, jobs for others, all those things that seem like they need to be done. However, in ten years time will they really have mattered? Probably not!
The thing you are resisting, the thing that will matter in ten years, that’s the thing you need to do, for you. If you’re procrastinating or putting off important personal goals, then you are at odds with what really matters to you.
When you get round to doing whatever it is you are resisting – taking that yoga or dance class for example – it works to open up the rest of your life. It opens up a sense of opportunity, productivity, motivation and inspiration, which will permeate the other areas and relationships of your life.
You get to feel positive and inspired, you are not only showing up for yourself but also able to show up for others in a much more resourced and healthy way.
Four: Get Super Clear On Exactly What You Want
The benefit of getting clear on what you want is motivation. Here is a simple technique to help you get clear on your motivation.
Take a pen and some paper and start with this question:
“What is it about ________ that is important to me?”
Go at least seven questions deep into this exercise. Keep it simple and roll with the first thing that comes to mind in each response.
For example, maybe your goal is to work from home, so start by asking:
What is it about “working form home” that is important to me?
Maybe the answer is: so that I can manage my time. Then you put that into the question:
What is it about “managing my time” that is important to me?
Fundamentally, you get to find your values, and then your motivation comes straight from that. Your motivation comes from being authentically connected to the core reasons for wanting what you are working towards – for yourself.
Five: Be Kind to Yourself
This sounds obvious but self-care starts with you, and that means in the smallest ways, such as how you talk to yourself. It is easy to give yourself a hard time if things don’t go your way.
The next time you spill your coffee or drop your phone, notice how you talk to yourself – and be kind! Talk to yourself like you would a good friend. Positive self-talk will go a long way in helping you take care of you. It can also help to imagine a younger you as the person you are talking to – extending the same kindness and compassion to yourself as you would to a child.
On a practical level take time to care for yourself with kindness: Take a bath with your favourite oils, bath salts or pampering products. Take yourself for a delicious hot chocolate, or treat yourself to a movie.
Be kind. Be gentle. Putting yourself first is the most vital nourishment for you!
Stay well and happy beautiful one, lots of love,
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