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How I've learnt to practice self care

Last month I co-hosted my Self Care and Wellbeing Weekend Retreat. It was a magical space and such an amazing experience.


It was wonderful to see just how transformative it can be to allow ourselves to literally ‘retreat’. To step away from life, focus in ourselves and go a little slower.


No responsibilities, no routines, no food to prepare – our time was our own.


Over the weekend we had a lot of conversations with each other, organically and naturally. Often around the coffee table or at dinner.


In one conversation we talked about self-care and how sometimes we can get the order wrong.


For example, I shared that in the past (and I still have this tendency now), I would make sure that everyone else was sorted before ‘allowing’ myself time to relax.


Self-care was somehow the treat for when I had done all my hard work. Except – the hard work never stops does it! We never get everything done, there is always something we could be doing and so ultimately that means that our self-care gets sacrificed.


Personally, this wasn’t really working for me and professionally it definitely does not!


Becoming a therapist and holding spaces for wellbeing and relaxation with Crcle, I can no longer operate in that way. If I’m coming to clients in an unregulated state, then they cannot heal from their trauma. If I’m leading clients in a meditation when I’m stressed how are they supposed to relax?




So, from a business sense, as well as a personal one – I’ve had to completely rewire my approach to self-care.


How have I done this?


I’m going to share a few things that I have done that have really helped me to shift my approach to self-care.


These are not hard and fast rules and I’m not saying you must do these things!


But maybe explore them and see if any of them would work for you…




1. You don’t have to do everything


I love a to-do list and I love nothing better than ticking everything off. It is so satisfying!


But I’ve learnt to bracket my time. After 8pm I am not doing anything! I am taking a lunch break. When I need to walk, I can walk.


Rather than trying to get everything done, I do as much as I can and then the rest is left to another time…this sometimes causes me to worry but ultimately if I’m tired out, I’m not going to be doing a good job.


2. Learn to say no

This one has been hard for me. I’m a people pleaser and I like to make people happy.


However, I’ve learnt that at times, it is ok to prioritise myself. I can say no. In a kind and empathic way of course, but still a no. Me saying no so far has gone really well!


Because what would happen is I’d say yes, and I’d be so resentful about it! But saying no, being honest has been liberating. And…also very well received. People get it! No one has been angry, and people understand that sometimes we have to say no.



3. Tune into your body

My body has been key to understanding when I need to take time for my own self-care.


I’ve had a complicated relationship with my body at times and generally tried to ignore it. It’s very wise though and it knows when I need to relax.


My body tells me this maybe through a headache, tiredness, or a flare up of IBS.


Our body communicates to us all of the time and when we tune into listen we can hear a lot of wisdom.



Now I notice those cues, listen to what my body has to say and it helps me slow down when I need to.


4. Self-care looks different on different days.

I don’t have just one self-care plan. There are some days that I meditate, there are some days I read. Sometimes I love to get outdoors for a long walk as my self-care and honestly, sometimes I need to just lie in my bed and re-watch Schitts Creek!


If we have a set idea of what our self-care should look like, it then becomes just another chore to do. If we say to ourselves ‘I must meditate for 10 minutes a day for my own self-care’ and then we don’t do it, it just becomes another stick to beat ourselves with.


So, tune into your own wisdom – what do you need right now to help you regulate, slow down and look after yourself.


5. Keep trying

Sometimes I burn the candles at both ends. Sometimes I work myself to the point that I’m exhausted. Sometimes I don’t really look after myself.


Does this mean that I’ve failed at self-care? No, I’m just human.


Each time I get to this point, instead of berating myself for being here again, I look at what has got me here.


What can I learn on the next revolution of the circle to try and not get to this state. And you know what, I do learn something each time.


I am getting better at looking after myself. I keep trying, with compassion and acceptance and know that I won’t always get it right, but I’m worthy of being looked after.



Need any help?


I hope these help you and provide some food for thought.


If there is any help I can provide with your self-care, whether that is being part of my Mindful Membership, joining a group session or a 1:1 offering then I’m here for you.


I get that it is hard. What should be simple, actually can be very difficult.


So, if you are feeling a little stuck, give me a shout and I’d love to support you.


Love Rebecca xx



(all pictures from this post are from our lovely weekend retreat this year. If you'd like to join us in 2025 then check out my events page for all the details or email me crclewellbeing@gmail.com)

 

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