Ok I’m not going to pretend anyone asked me why my cat does Yoga. But cats are really great at self care. They seem to be happiest when they spend all day licking themselves and stretching. As humans we also need to make a habit of Self Care.
Have you ever been on a self development course, undergone some counseling or coaching, and experienced great results, only to find yourself back to square one after 6 months? This is called regression and it is very common. So how do you get around it?
Self care is to our emotions what food is to the body or fuel is to a vehicle. We need to keep filling up the tank.
The trick is to develop good habits and practice them daily. Last week, I talked about 5 things you can do to get out of or avoid depression. If you remember, I mentioned walking, listening to something funny or inspirational, eating foods that promote happiness, dancing and contacting friends.
Here I will give you 5 very simple practices that will help you feel good about yourself. They won’t take much time, but they will make a difference if you make a habit of them.
- Physical – You can soothe yourself physically by pulling the tension out of your arms. With one hand gently squeeze all the way from the shoulder and armpit down to the tips of the fingers. Do this a few times, then switch arms. You can do the same with your legs. Push the tension from the tops of your thighs down to your ankles.
- Visual – Go outside if you can and take a good look at the trees and bushes. Notice the different shapes of the trunks, branches and leaves. See how they all have their own version of green. Stand at the bottom of a tall tree and look up to see it stretching up towards the sky.
- Auditory – Listen to the recorded sound of rain falling or some gentle instrumental music. Try shutting your eyes so that you can completely focus on what you can hear.
- Gustatory – When you eat, do so mindfully. Take a mouthful of one thing in isolation. Chew slowly and be aware of its temperature, texture and most importantly taste. Keep doing this for as long as you can.
- Olfactory – Use a fragrant moisturiser, perfume or Eau de Toilette. Inhale its fragrance and notice how it makes you feel.
If you do each of these 5 practices once, you might feel good for a moment. However, when you make a habit of doing them for at least a minute every day, the chances are you will notice that your general wellbeing is improving little by little. This is how we make small changes that make a big difference.