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These days, it's very possible to find daily life somewhat consuming. Hours, days and maybe even weeks can pass before you realise how quickly time goes, and you think, when did I last take the time to focus on just me? Here at Balance Holidays, we know this happens, and it's okay. We're here to help you understand a little more about self-care, and how it can be encouraged to become a regular feature in your life.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is not merely taking care of yourself. It extends far beyond the parameters of eating, drinking, and other basic human needs. Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our physical, mental or emotional health. The time you make for self-care must be a conscious effort, and cannot 'just happen'.
Next, you must ask the question, what does it mean for you? For each of you, there will be a unique set of activities that promote self-care. These could be spending time with your favourite person, cooking and eating your favourite food or going to a place that makes you happy.

Blonde lady and black dog smiling and lying down in grass

What are the Benefits of Self-Care?

First and foremost, there is a considerable difference between self-care and selfishness and the two are not to be confused. Being selfish is only to consider your own needs. Whereas taking care of one's self may directly impact how you take care of others around you.

Taking the time out to reconnect and listen to the voice inside could encourage the progress of your wellbeing by allowing you to discover what it might be that is causing your anxiety, or identifying that part of your body that feels tense. By finding out what truly motivates your happiness, you may open up new avenues of discovery. By allotting time to do the things you enjoy, it seems reasonable that you will feel more content.

How to Make Time

This isn't always easy, but with a little thought and planning, it is thoroughly possible. Once you have established what self-care means to you, it's time to practice in real life. We recommend thinking about your daily routine and reducing time spent on areas that may not benefit your wellbeing, such as television or social media.

Being more organised can help you to find the time to perform your self-care activities. Keeping a diary or planning your day will help you to see available time slots. Furthermore, plan to have a brainstorming session with yourself once a month, to think about what activities you would like in your routine.

Helping other people is a wonderful thing to do, but make sure the amount of help you are providing others with isn't diminishing your capacity to do the things that are important to you. This can include your self-care routine.
Some companies offer paid personal days; these are days provided by your employer for individuals to perform personal tasks of their discretion. These days can be used to get your life or home organised, creating more time for yourself. Or they can be used directly to practice your routine.

diary on a desk with pink flowers

Ideas for Self-Care

While the overall activities will be unique to all, there is a rough baseline that blankets a general rule of self-care. Be sure to incorporate sleeping into your routine, as it has been scientifically proven by top universities that not getting enough sleep can have an impact on your mental and physical health. Reported by the NHS, prolonged lack of sleep can hold a negative impact on your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

While it's great to eat the things you love, another study by the NHS has found that a generally healthy diet can nourish our bodies and heighten our energy levels. Additionally, the advice inferred from the study encourages a balanced diet to help maintain blood sugar levels, which leads to consistent and prolonged energy throughout the day.

The proven benefits of exercise on our minds and bodies recorded by the Mind.org means you should allow time for exercise in your routine. You don't necessarily have to join a gym if the environment is not right for you (although if it is, we encourage it). Instead, try walking or yoga to experience the exhilarating impact of exercise.

happy man doing a headstand by water

While it is important to take these steps in our daily lives, you can take it one step further and dedicate a whole weekend or longer to enriching yourself. Choose one of our weekend retreats as a way to promote your self-care routine and don't forget that like all great things, self-care requires practice!