Self care isn't selfish

I’ve been meaning to write this for such a long time but it has seemed like a mammoth task as there is so much to say so I have put myself under a time pressure (got to get to yoga!) and so am going to keep it as short and sweet as possible!

Self care isn’t selfish. Self care isn’t a luxury. Self care isn’t a vanity. Self care isn’t a negotiable.

Self care is 100% essential and needs to be the backbone of your lifestyle.

Without self care not only do we suffer but those around us too. Just like they say on the aeroplane that parents must put their oxygen masks on before their children, this is the same for self care. What use are we to others if we haven’t taken care of ourselves? It is our responsibility to do it and we must step up.

Your sense of self suffers if you don’t give a shit about it because you are basically telling it that you don’t give a shit about it and then you are projecting that onto the world that you don’t give a shit about yourself so why should anyone give a shit about you?

Your self image defines who you are to yourself and the world so if you aren’t going to bother with it, it knows and so does everyone else.

It’s not about spending loads of money on luxury products and treatments but it is all about putting yourself first in your life as much as you can (mums, I know how hard this is and I’ve been there and got the badge).

It is all about allowing yourself time to nurture and nourish yourself. It is all about taking time out to sit and let yourself relax. It is all about caring about yourself. It is all about being the best possible version of yourself. Even the word yourself contains self and being selfish to yourself ain’t good.

I know, I tried it. I spent a good proportion of the last 7 years making it look like I was taking care of myself on the surface but underneath things were a shambles. I was exhausted physically and mentally from caring for my children with a husband who would rather be at the pub than help and no family around to give a helping hand. I survived on crappy food that filled a hole and ‘treating’ myself to maltesers on the sofa once the kids were in bed. Not exactly rock and roll abuse of my body but the stress, lack of nourishment and care for myself put me in a very bad place mentally and physically. A lot of ailments that the doctor couldn’t give me answers or cures for.

So, not being one to let things go easily I turned to alternative methods for help and that is when I started to learn about healing the body through nourishment and more recently higher levels of self care.

The basis of self care in my world revolve around the following:

eating well - not strict diets but just wholesome, home cooked food (I do cheat with protein shakes in the morning)

drinking plenty of water - so obvious, easily forgotten

little rituals - I have learnt that it is essential to slow down and enjoy the moments. I try to make my tea making into a ritual, a moment to slow down and appreciation life. Take a breath.

exercise - I love to run but I don’t run hard anymore, I run and smell the roses. I also like to go for long walks on my own just to be outside in nature (def need to get a dog again)

stretching - I practice yoga to stretch my body, slow my mind and build strength, it has been a life savour for me as I try to get my cortisol levels down and learn to breathe again!

massage - I hold a lot of tension in my body, massage helps me to release it

magnesium baths - these are just the best, your body absorbs the magnesium whilst it relaxes and I wear an amazing Antipodes face mask (pictured) and then treat my body to a toxin free body lotion or oil

I also try to only use toxin free products on my body, we don’t put them on babies, why would we put them on ourselves?

More recently I have started to take supplements again; I stopped for a while as they were stressing me out as I was taking soooooooo many. At the moment I take a collagen supplement for my skin and I take 2 x magnesium tablets each evening before bed to calm my body and mind (this is brilliant for anxiety and restless legs).

I also like to have a manicure and pedicure regularly as it makes me just feel more polished and regular hair removal. Not for everyone but it’s amazing how much better it makes me feel.

Next on my list is regular facials and more focus on meditation and ensuring that I keep up with all doctors & dentists appointments.

Beyond this I like to factor in reading, crafts, writing, holidays, adventure!

Self care covers everything that makes you happy, from the smallest thing such as brushing your teeth to going on a beautiful, relaxing holiday.

We weren’t put on this planet to have a rubbish time, we were put here to enjoy the wonders of the world and to make progress. Don’t forget that you are the only one that is responsible for your experience of your life. You get to choose how to live it. You need to take radical responsibility for your life.

Since my divorce where I literally blew the ship on my whole life I spent a lot of time looking inwards at what fuelled me and made me happy and the answer was very simple. The things that make me happy are the things that make me happy. I have no chosen to style my best life by doing the things that make me happy and do you know what….it makes me happy!

Would love to hear your thoughts x

Sarah Miller