The 10 most important things you can do for yourself
I talk about self care and the importance of looking after yourself a lot on this blog - I truly believe that we are no use to anyone else unless we're taking good care of ourselves. You can't pour from an empty cup and all that jazz. So today I thought I'd share what I think are the 10 most important things you can do for yourself. They're all pretty easy and obvious, but I surprise myself with how regularly I forget to do the things on this list.
1) Get enough sleep
This one pretty much goes without saying, but if you aren't sleeping enough, you can't expect your mind and body to work to its full capacity. I need a good eight hours to feel like my best self and having a good sleep routine keeps me feeling productive and energetic.
2) Move your body
I'm not saying you have to sweat it out in the gym for an hour everyday, but you do have to move your body every now and then. Maybe it's a long walk on a Sunday morning or a weekly yoga class - either way, moving your body will keep you healthy and help make your mind feel calmer.
3) Read a lot
I love getting lost in a good book so this one is an easy one for me, but I honestly can't recommend reading regularly enough. Through reading we can explore different worlds and perspectives, learn about the lives and experiences of others and better understand our own emotions and situations. Read a variety of material and stretch yourself in different directions.
4) Celebrate all your victories
We are all so keen to focus on the things that we did wrong that we forget to celebrate all of our victories. Instead of beating yourself up over what didn't go quite right, give yourself a pat on the back for the things you did bloody well. It will give you the confidence you need to keep learning and trying.
5) Don't compare
Easier said than done, of course, but comparing yourself to others is a fast track to feeling miserable. Our paths are all unique, so to compare yours to someone elses is nothing but pointless - focus on making your own grass greener rather than eyeing up the other lawns.
6) Surround yourself with great people
You know the ones - your personal cheerleaders, who believe in you more than you believe in yourself and will go to great lengths to make you happy. Keep them by your side, listen to them when they tell you you can do it and be thankful that they're in your lives.
7) Don't wait to be ready
None of us are ever ready. Just get on with it. Doing it is better than thinking about it, and regular practice makes perfect. Trust me.
8) Switch off
And switch off completely. Watch trashy TV, take a long hot bath, read magazines, colour in. Switching off is just as important for a successful life as hard work - you'll be way more productive if you make downtime a priority.
Sometimes we can all get wrapped up in our own serious lives. Make an effort to be light. Laugh, wholeheartedly, with the people you love. Those happy moments are the ones you will always remember fondly.
10) Be grateful for now
Make plans for the future, but don't get so caught up in them that you forget to be grateful for the here and now. Life moves so quickly and things are always changing - everything will look so different, even six months from now. So enjoy this moment right now and appreciate everything that it is.