Happiness is an inside job – 12 self-care ideas

Happiness is an inside job.

It’s something we’ve all heard before but how many of us have really spent some time thinking about this and what it really means?

True happiness and wellbeing comes from within.

It does not come from a diet or a fitness plan. It does not come from a great big takeaway feast or a bottle of wine. Not from a holiday, or a fun night out. Not even from the purchase of a pair of shoes or the latest gadget. While we live in a culture that has trained us very well that these are the things that will make us happy, the truth is that we need to turn inwards to create real and lasting happiness for ourselves.

But how do we do this in challenging times? How do we do this while going through a cancer journey? It’s certainly a lot easier said than done. What we are talking about is this new term you may have heard being bandied around of late – self-care.

Self-care is our toolkit to build real and lasting happiness

How much time do you spend really looking after yourself every day? For most of us modern life has become so fast-paced that any time spent taking care of ourselves is considered the height of selfishness. In reality though, if you are not giving to yourself, how can you give to others? Before we can take care of others, we need to take care of ourselves. You cannot pour from an empty jug and this is never more true than at times of great challenge.

So today we are sharing some tips for self-care. This is how easy it can be. These could be things that will make you feel good, or maybe they will prompt other suggestions for you. It’s all about taking time to turn within yourself and see what you need. What do you need?

12 self-care ideas

1. Take some time out of your day to make yourself a really lovely, healthy meal. Take your time preparing it and really enjoy eating it.

2. If you don’t have the energy to cook a whole meal, make yourself a cup of your favourite herbal tea. Take some time to really enjoy it without distractions.

3. Step away from Facebook and actually call a friend for a chat.

4. Tell someone if you’re struggling. Ask for help if you need it.

5. Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Just sit and breathe, with your eyes closed, for a few minutes. Breathe in for the count of 4, pause, and breathe out for the count of 4. Focus on the counting and nothing else.

6. Spend some quality time with your favourite animals – this could be your cat or dog, the birds outside your window or a trip to your local petting farm or zoo.

7. Get outside. Do whatever the weather allows – lie in the grass or lift your face to the rain. Watch the clouds move across the sky. Savour not thinking about anything at all except experiencing the day.

8. Buy a colouring book and some colouring pencils or markers. Colour away. Let your thoughts come and go.

9. Find a good book and read as much or as little as you feel like.

10. Write down three things that happened today that you are grateful for.

11. Say no to someone asking you to do something you don’t want to do. Or don’t feel bad about changing your mind about something. We’re all entitled to change our minds.

12. Lower your expectations of yourself. Be ok with being mediocre right now if that’s what you need to be.

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