So here we are, almost 18 months since the initial murmur of this thing called Covid and in many ways, so many of us are still in survival mode, navigating the unknown, constantly adapting to some kind of change whether it be your work environment, community restrictions, cashflow, ability to see loved ones, mental health or all of the above.
Some of us have technically come through ‘unscathed’ – but that’s not entirely true either, because when your fellow man suffers, you suffer – even if its unconscious – the effects of the global pandemic cannot be denied.
Now – this blog is definitely not meant to be a downer, but more of a reflection on how we can support ourselves and therefore our loved ones, communities, and contribution to the world at a time where we potentially feel like we have less agency than we’d like to admit.
As someone who has always advocated for self-care and habits of excellence, I thought I’d highlight 3 reasons why self care is more important now than ever and my favourite, easy go-to self care habits.
- Self-care – noun; ‘the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.’ If your well being is suffering, guaranteed everything you do is somehow affected. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle really because you want to feel better and do better but you are likely not doing your daily activities at the capacity you would be able to if you were thriving. So although it seems counter intuitive to take some time out for self care ‘when there’s things to be done’ or there’s ‘money to be made’ – that time you take ultimately serves with a return by helping you do those things in a much more productive, positive way when you feel mentally stronger.
- TIP: Give yourself some reflection time. It might feel uncomfortable, but take a minute to step back and evaluate your mental health. A self-check in can give you some valuable insight and allow you a moment to assess where you could use some support or change up some habits.
- Tools: 5 deep breaths – this will help with grounding into the moment; pen to paper – write down your thoughts, no filter – give yourself a chance to see what might be causing you any stress so you can resolve some tension or come up with pro-active solutions; disconnect – take some timeout from the phone and the apps and do something to unwind or offer some perspective.
2. The ripple effect. Guaranteed, how you show up in the world effects everyone you encounter.
The ultimate act of service is taking responsibility for your own mental health so you can have the bandwidth to be good to others, and at a time where a lot of people are highly stressed and potentially unconscious of their behaviour, we need to lead by example. A simple gesture of kindness or compassion has a huge ripple effect, but without your own mental health in order first, you may miss the opportunity to be present in any given moment.
- TIP: Create some daily rituals that remind you who you want to be. I have a rule with myself that there are just a few daily rituals that are non negotiable. This means that even on my worst days, I’m leaning on some habits that help me to look after myself, and help me to access some sweet relief – these small moments of grace have helped me survive.
- Tools: Gratitude practice, Meditation, Hydrating well, Journaling, Exercise, time in nature, grooming/skincare (obvs) – this could also be self massage, yoga, breath work. Definitely don’t underestimate your eating habits too – how you nourish will greatly impact your mind and performance.
3. You are worthy, you deserve greatness & when you shine – you give permission for others to shine too.
Enough said here, although easier said than done. In my experience taking the time to care for myself was really hard, but the more I learned to do so, the more I realised my level of self care was a direct reflection of my worth and if I wanted to live my best life it literally had to start with how much I believe and back my own self. It’s not vain to want to look and feel great, it’s only vain if it’s done in vain. You feel? The act of great self care doesn’t just stop with oneself – it allows you to then see and notice what is going on with everyone around you, what is happening in the world, how can you be your very best, not just for you but your family, your friends, the causes that are important to you, and how you can live a life of deep purpose in the smallest but most significant ways. When I feel good about me – I can do more for you, and when I do more for others, I feel good about me. Self care means self evaluation – not self involvement, the discernment is key.
- TIPS: Pay attention to your self talk, invest in your self including (yes) your grooming and skin care as well as little things like waking up to a clean house, decluttering your bedroom, spring cleaning your wardrobe, re-evaluating those snacks in the cupboard, make time for close connections, do something nice for someone, connect with your local communities or join one.
- Tools: There are some great books and podcasts in this space – reading and listening to podcasts can be a really inspiring way to create some inspiration. Just ensure you follow through with action – maybe start with a priority list and give yourself a timeline. For all things grooming of course see the team in store/ shop online or head to our instagram, and for all things doing good and acts of service connect with The Just Be Nice Project where you will also find some great inspiration through their social media but more importantly you can connect with the community and have a direct positive impact.
I’ll leave you with this timely quote that I love.
‘Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny’ – Lau Tzu.
In grooming and self-care always,