How to practice Real Self Care in 2022

How to practice Real Self Care in 2022

When a new year rolls around it is easy for us to put tremendous pressure on ourselves to ‘be better’. This is where we quickly go wrong, as unsustainable goals make us lose interest and motivation almost instantaneously. When we hear or read about self-care, it usually comes in the form of face mask recommendations in glossy magazines, or how we need to make a bit more time to paint our nails. The reality is that while these things may make us feel good temporarily, a cucumber face mask isn’t a long-term solution to thoroughly, and honestly caring for ourselves. Sorry to break the bad news. 


But, here’s the good news. This year, your goal doesn’t have to involve you changing. It has absolutely nothing to do with ‘being better’ than you already are. This year the only thing that should top your self-care to do list is to ‘feel better’. Of course, whatever makes you feel better is entirely unique to you, but we do have some guidelines that can help point you in the right direction. 


Do the things you love  

We’ve all seen ‘Do what makes your heart happy’ or ‘Do what makes your soul shine’ emblazoned on many a mug. But it’s true – you should. It doesn’t matter whether that’s sitting, knitting, kick-boxing or napping – if it makes you feel good you should do it without any guilt or any judgement from others. You may think it’s easy to do the things you love, but we regularly end up doing things we think others will be impressed by instead. We don’t do our favourite hobbies because we get worried that they won’t quite fit in with what everyone else appears to be doing. Dear reader, I don’t own a dry robe and you won’t find me sea swimming any time soon. A list of books to read before the year is out is my own personal idea of self-imposed hell. But is taking myself out for a Saturday morning coffee and people watching, every Saturday, something I can get on board with? Absolutely. When you do the things you really love, your heart won’t just be happy – it’ll positively burst. 


Do something that scares you  

We agree – doing something that scares you sounds like the absolute opposite of self-care. But caring for yourself means nurturing every aspect of you. The bits you love, the bits you like, and the bits you’re not such a huge fan of. Somewhere in between all of these layers lies a little bit of fear. The fear of failure holds us back from our full potential all too often - but one thing that should override our fear of failure is the fear of never trying at all. Trying something that scares you doesn’t have to mean skydiving. Perhaps you’re too scared or nervous to phone and book an appointment by yourself, or you’re afraid to make new friends by starting the conversation. Whatever scares you, no matter how big or small, you owe it to yourself to try and change that. Our charity GLOW offers a great range of programmes to help you retrain your thinking that will allow you to approach these obstacles with confidence. So, whether you want to be a bit more Lily, Fearless & Female or simply want to discover the real you, there’s a programme to help women of all ages.

Learn to say no  

Sometimes the greatest form of self-care we can offer ourselves is saying no. Don’t be mistaken – this isn’t like when a toddler learns the word ‘no’ and uses it as a response to absolutely everything! Learning to say no is all about setting boundaries for yourself and others around you. We all like to be helpful and give our time to others, but this can quickly lead to burn out. When we are burnt out, we can feel unappreciated or like we are being taken advantage of. The best way to prevent this from happening? You got it - say no. This could mean cancelling or postponing plans until you have more free time, or saying no-can-do to that extra weekly errand. Saying no at the start might feel wrong and rude, but the more you do it the easier you will feel, and it doesn’t have to be an outright ‘no’. A ‘sorry, I’m having a bad week and just need to chill’ is a simple and honest response that those around you should understand and accept. People can become too dependent on our availability and it can be easy to feel like we are letting them down. But trust us, they will appreciate the happier you less often than the burnt out you more often. So, learn to say no this year, and get ready for a whole new level of self-love.

Be selfish  
We always associate being selfish with negative connotations, yet being selfish is probably the easiest way to care for yourself. Taking time for yourself, or to yourself, may seem self-indulgent to some but we guarantee that it will do you the world of good. A quiet few hours curled up in a cosy jumper with a book or cup of tea, more regularly, will give you the time and space you need to feel on top of things. If you find that anyone tries to make you feel guilty or spoilt for making time for these moments, it might be worth reminding them that they need to be selfish too! Adopt ‘treat yourself’ as your mantra and watch as a new, improved and fulfilled you unfolds. It might just be your greatest chapter yet.
Get a head start on your self-care mission with our Self Care Club sweatshirt, with all proceeds going to our GLOW charity.

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