Robust effective self-care begins with good boundaries. Keeping yourself and your self-care as a boundary is not selfish, it’s self-full. 

When we nourish ourselves and care for ourselves we are far better placed to be able to care for others effectively. We have lots more love to give. We’re way more inclined to share when we know what we’re sharing will be replenished. 

While a day at the spa or a weekend away is wonderful, that’s a bonus. Effective self-care is far more hands-on than this. For starters, it’s daily. It’s also non-negotiable, sustainable and so much a part of any daily routine that it just happens. 

My top six, non-negotiable, just-happen-because-they’re-important-to-me 

Meditation – taking time to breath into the silence and not be involved with my thoughts. Sure, my brain will be thinking (that’s what brains do after all) but I won’t be engaging with any of those thoughts.

Journaling – getting the thoughts I’m unsure about out of my head and into solid form on a piece of paper makes it so much easier to understand what it is that’s bothering me. It’s definitely never the first thought that pops out when I sit down to journal, but 10 minutes is all it takes to gain clarity and perspective. 

Exercise – spending time in nature on a daily basis, preferably as the light is changing at dawn and dusk grounds me and reminds me I’m a small piece of a much bigger puzzle. 

Drinking water – staying hydrated keeps my energy levels high and my brain alert and focused. I make it my business to drink water throughout the day, well before I’m thirsty.

Eating whole foods – fueling my body with sustaining, minimally processed food keeps me on an even keel. I have energy and focused attention for dealing with the challenges of life when I take the time to eat healthfully. 

Reading – learning is so important to me. I like to absorb information in small, nugget-sized bites and enjoy time with books every day. 

We’re all unique

Everyone is different. It stands to reason that our self-care routine will be highly individualised. I’ve found over the years some activities have come and gone, these six have stood the test of time for me. 

Now, they just happen. When I first started, they were deliberate, intentional acts. Now I wake up and do them. Then I move on with my (always full) days with clarity and intention. They are an integral part of my identity, my habits, and the way in which I show up. 

I know I’m a way better person for them and a great role model for my adolescents. These self-care habits nourish and sustain me as I give from a full cup leaving plenty of aroha left over for myself. 

If self-care is something you realise is lacking in your life and you’re ready to make a change for the better, reach out here. For me there’s nothing more fulfilling in coaching to be a part of another person’s growth.