Self-care is the foundation of happiness. Few of us were taught this message as a child. Often our conditioning focuses on putting others first. However, the truth is no-one benefits when you run your own batteries flat. To help you revolutionise your personal happiness, here are our top self-care trips of 2023.
Keep a Journal
Journalling helps us to order our thoughts, prioritise our goals and identify repetitive negative behaviours/influences. Putting thoughts down on paper can be liberating and healing. What's more, writing down a goal wildly increases your chances of achieving it.
It is almost as if written words have magical powers. Your journal can be a place where you give gratitude, celebrate your achievements and forgive yourself and others for negative events. It can be a place of letting go and rebuilding.
If you are worried that keeping a journal is time-consuming, try a bullet point journal. The effects are likely to be just as beneficial as writing pages of prose.
Buy yourself a beautiful notebook and pen and let your thoughts flow!
Create Healthy Boundaries
We all have people in our lives who leave us feeling angry/inadequate/used. Sometimes these people are family members or colleagues who we cannot simply walk away from. However, we can set healthy boundaries. The key is to be able to communicate our boundaries to others.
When a person upsets us, human nature often dictates that we have a good moan about the incident to everyone but the actual offender. This is particularly common in work situations. Promise yourself that from now onwards you will cut out the middleman. You will avoid wasting time repeating your frustrations to ten uninvolved people (unless you are seeking genuine advice). Sharing your boundaries, calmly and rationally, is the best way forward in almost all situations. And when it comes to romantic relationships, explaining what you will and will not accept is a must.
Be open to listening to the other person's reasons for their behaviour and give yourself a degree of flexibility when needed. Perhaps there a mid-way point that you are both happy to meet at.
Most importantly, do not continue to allow anyone to make you feel 'less than'. Be proud of who you are and stand up for yourself.
Mindfulness & Meditation
The mind is like a hard drive; it can only take so much before it crashes. Technology has reduced the average person's attention span and conditioned us to believe it is perfectly normal to jump from one topic to the next in a chaotic manner. Give your mind a break to allow you to see things clearly.
Those who practice mindfulness and meditation are less anxious, more focused and often able to sleep better than those who stay continually plugged into their racing thoughts.
Some great books to get you started:
Wherever You Go, There You Are : Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn. This book focuses particularly on a return to clear concentration.
The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. Grounded in Buddhism, this is a fabulous reminder of the importance of celebrating the small things around us. Happiness starts with the appreciation of the simplest joys.
Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff. This book provides common sense tips for silencing the negative self-chatter and being kind to ourselves.
When taking time out to clear your thoughts, eliminate distractions. Silence all devices and place them in another room. Light scented candles.
Take A Break From Social Media
Scrolling can waste many hours of our time. It can lead us to believe we need products we can't afford/ filters that distort our features / 'likes' that mean nothing at all in the real world.
Why not use the time to exercise/meditate/read/listen to a fascinating podcast instead?
Take a break from watching what others are doing and focus solely on enriching your own life. You will feel the benefits very quickly!
Soak up Positive Energy
Get out and about in nature to soak up positive natural vibes! Watching the evolving seasons is a great reminder of the power of change and regeneration.
Seek out the people that fill you with energy and hope. Enjoy great conversations, laughter and positive exchanges.
Enjoy time with pets. Learn from their ability to love unconditionally and find joy in the simplest of activities.
You may have noticed that all of the above tips cost very little aside from your time. Invest in yourself this year by revamping your self-care routine!