Self-care or self-soothing?
We all need a little self-care in our lives! When you find the time for yourself and take care of your needs, you are in a stronger position to manage your busy life and commitments. But what exactly does self-care look like?
Many of us confuse self-care with self-soothing. Self-soothing is what you can do in the moment to feel good. This could be something like retail therapy, comfort food, or watching your favourite feel-good movie after a bad day. While these activities are great for improving your mood in the moment, they should not replace self-care.
Self-care is a bigger concept that involves patterns of behaviour that ensure your needs are taken care of. It is more sustaining and has long-term benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing. Think of self-soothing and self-care as a snack. You could opt for a chocolate bar and enjoy the pleasure in the moment but crash after the sugar high ends, or you could have a nutritious snack like yoghurt and nuts and enjoy lasting energy and nutrition your body needs.
Practising self-care at home
It can feel so much easier to enjoy a bubble bath or book a massage then put steps in place to organise your wardrobe or pantry to be able to eat and live better! While the bath or massage are great self-soothing techniques and certainly have their place, it is worthwhile to try organisation self-care to feel the long-term benefits. Prioritise what you want from your life– like family, friends, or health, and then put organisational steps in place to make these happen. Practising organisational behaviour can reduce stress by decluttering the home, creating efficient organisation systems, and feeling satisfying when completed.
Some self-soothing practices like shopping can increase your household clutter. We tell ourselves we’ve worked hard and deserve to reward ourselves. If this reward is a new item or piece of clothing that you don’t need, it actually might be contributing to the stress and disorganisation in your house– reducing your self-care! It might not feel natural to swap this kind of self-soothing action for organising, but here are some great ways you can try to add organisational self-care to your life.
- – For every new item you purchase, throw out something you don’t need
- – Reorganise your wardrobe before going shopping- you might find some old gems that actually meet your shopping needs!
- – Clean out an old kitchen or bathroom cupboard and make a list of any new or old things you might need to improve those areas
- – If you are struggling to throw something old out, consider the emotional need you think that thing is trying to fill, then ask yourself how you can meet that need in another way
- – Try my decluttering tips for beginners and reduce your household stress
Some people avoid decluttering or organising as they associate it with unpleasant emotions. Rather than avoiding these feelings that may arise while decluttering, you can try to overcome them. I know it might feel easier to ignore feelings of anger or sadness or guilt, but unless you allow yourself to really feel them, they don’t actually go away. They’ll continue to sit under the surface, and chances are that they’ll come up in other ways. Try to:
- – Sit with them.
- – Feel them.
- – Name them.
- – Write about them.
- – Talk about them with someone you trust.
- – Or try Yin Yoga!
Yin Yoga is another great self-care strategy. It is a restorative yoga practise that involves holding yoga poses for extended periods of time. It slows down your movement and mind, allowing physical and mental recovery and rejuvenation. The practice encourages sitting with uncomfortable feelings and gently letting them go. Adding a short Yin Yoga session to your weekly schedule may just be the self-care strategy you need to improve your wellbeing.
Try my online Yin & Nidra Yoga Bundle or consider joining me on a Mum’s Revive Retreat. Adding self-care strategies can sometimes feel too difficult during your everyday life. A Mums’ Revive Retreat provides space and time for you to work out your priorities. We want to live an intentional life with more self-care not just self-soothing. If this is something you’d like to work on, reach out and join mum’s just like you on the Mum’s Revive Retreat. I’d love to see you there!