Show Yourself Some Love - Expert Self Care Tips

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, a day where we are all used to showering love and affection on others, but at this time of year could we also show a little love to ourselves?  Katie's sister, Chartered Psychologist Dr Felicity Lynagh, shares her expert self care tips.

Expert self care tips

As a psychologist I often get asked, what is self-care? It’s one of those imprecise terms we all use but what does it mean? In my opinion, self-care is about changing the narrative of your daily life.

It isn’t about just having a massage or some time out to give you the bandwidth to step back into your hectic life. It’s about figuring out how to change the pace or the set up of your day, so you don’t have to escape for time out to be able to cope in the first place.

Here are so simple ways to start or improve your self-care today...

1. Boundaries

In my clinical practice, I spend a lot of time with my clients thinking about what the healthy boundaries are to set with work and relationships.

Setting boundaries and saying no can be anxiety provoking but understand that the short-term pain of that feeling is worth the long-term gain of setting up a healthy situation you are able to maintain. 

2. Time Management 

Be strict and realistic with the time you can give to others. Filling the diary is easy, it’s a future orientated task and people always underestimate the time it will take to do something, and the effort and energy required to do it, so factor this is into the time you give to others. 

3. Pace

Linked to giving up your time is the pace at which you set life at. if you’re cramming in too much and working at a fast pace you will burnout.

My clients often notice that when they slow down and make room for other things in their life paradoxically their productivity increases with less time working.

They become more focussed and intentional with their time. Remember even fun activities and events take up energy so pace yourself. 

4. Pay Attention

Self-care means starting to pay attention to how you are feeling, this means both physically and emotionally. This present moment awareness is what is known as Mindfulness.

I teach my clients simple but powerful mindfulness techniques that allows quiet observation of our internal state to ease tension and restore a sense of calm.

Once we start tuning in, we often notice a self-critical voice and we can learn how to challenge it.

5. Bring in the Joy

Aren’t we all used to and fed up with the idea of cutting things out at the start of the year? Why not take a leaf out of Marie Kondo’s book and cut out what’s not causing you joy and add in the joy instead.

Rather than a strict diet, which we all know will fail in a week or two, cut out scrolling on your Instagram feed if you know it makes you feel worse about yourself.  

Sometime self-care will just be understanding that you are enough, just as you are. You don’t need to kill yourself in the gym or do a million things in a day to make yourself a better person.

Everyone’s idea of self-care is different, write down 3-5 things that you can do each day to help improve your sense of well-being. Place it somewhere visible and commit to doing some, if not all, of these each day. If all you did was slow down that would be a wonderful start!

If you’re interested to find out more about how to apply these techniques or to find out more about personal development do get in touch with Dr Felicity.

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