Your Yourself and You

In honour of Self Care September, Whole School Approach Manager Leah gave us some valuable insight into practising wellbeing and mental health

Self-Love can help us priorities our own happiness and wellness; it sets the foundation for how we relate to ourselves and other, our boundaries and our goals. I always say…“you can’t whip yourself into shape but you can love yourself into wellbeing”.

Self – Acceptance – this is very cliché but has to be said; you are perfect as you are! That’s what the voice within should be saying. Accepting all parts of yourself are important – there are parts of ourselves that we often criticise or what to change. Self-acceptance is loving yourself despite your imperfections!

Self-Worth – recognise that the journey to loving yourself will ebb and flow, people will come and go. The key is to stay in your body, by giving yourself whatever it is that gives you peace or balance. If you don’t know what that is yet, it’s fun to start exploring! From some people it’s taking a bath, or going for a run.

Self-Discovery – learning more about your ancestry, heritage or the history of your home environment can strengthen your personal sense of belonging and community. Joining like mined groups or doing activities with people you have positive vibes with is always helpful.

Self-Awareness – explore your environment or social networks ensure they are positively leading to pathways that allow all space for becoming more of who you want to be. Saying ‘No’ to situations circumstances people or places that drain energy, cause chemical imbalance in the body such as anxiety, stress etc It’s not to say that at times circumstances and situations won’t develop they do and with that the resilience is needed and even more self-care practices needed during times that are challenging all contrasting.

Self-Kindness – try to avoid being hard on yourself or expect to know how to love yourself if you haven’t had a chance to learn, get yourself the opportunity to learn first.

Self-care doesn’t happen in a vacuum, I have found that having a circle of like-minded people from diverse backgrounds who you can connect with, love, learn from and share your vulnerability with. A circle, tribe or sisterhood is integral to expanding your self-care experience; with the ultimate goal of feeling better, feeling expansive, feeling connected, feeling loved! Not everyone has the opportunities to attend circles, sisterhoods etc, you may find your connections online with people all over the world – the global community has so much positivity to offer.

Don’t forget to breathe and be just Be! We can sometimes get so fixated on what we are trying to do and achieve that we don’t spend enough time ‘Being’. Your environment is key in nourishing yourself, spending time in lovely green leafy spaces with nature can only continue to help you benefit from self-care. You can also use this time to practice ‘no mind – mindfulness’ – freedom from thought for a short while can be really good if you ever feeling overwhelmed or stressed. The practice of ‘no mind – mindfulness’ does not mean you won’t have thoughts in your head! Your aim is to let the thoughts pass, not really identifying or attaching any further thoughts of feelings to it – You don’t have to believe everything you think…be kind to yourself and focus more on good feeling thoughts!

Once you have begun working towards a sense of your own inner peace and regular self-care practice, and you connected with your supportive circle…you are officially on your path to radical self-care; boundaries and relationships may become really important to be aware of. As you transform people around you may notice and want to understand more about your choices or lack understanding. This is where your supportive circle comes in. ensuring you have people you don’t have to explain or justify your choices to is important. People who love and accept you for who you are now and who your becoming.

What I know is looking after yourself may sometimes mean saying no to the demands from others. Saying ‘no’ to situations circumstances people or places that drain energy, cause chemical imbalance in the body anything from anxiety, stress etc. At times circumstances and situations develop beyond our control; when they do even more self-care practice is needed during periods in our lives that can be seen challenging or contrasting.
Having space to balance your energy, tune in to your inner voice, reflect and become more of who you want to be is just the most wonderful self-loving gift you can give yourself. Other tools can be used such as yoga, mindfulness, gratitude jars, journalling, vision boards, aromatherapy!

Peace and Love on Your Journey!

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