Self care is more than just a hashtag
According to mental health organisation ReachOut, “self-care is any activity that you do voluntarily which helps you maintain your physical, mental or emotional health.”
Inspired by a recent Love Curvy Yoga Podcast, I compiled my own self care instructions. Just as the care label stitched to the inside seam of your new shirt reminds you that it’s DRY CLEAN ONLY, my care instructions remind me what I need to do to be healthy and happy, and live according to my core values. Personally, I find this list particularly helpful if I’ve gone off track or am going through a tough period with my mental health.
My (Self) Care Instructions
Body + mind
Georgina thinks her favourite season is Winter but [** REALITY CHECK **] she has poor circulation and is always cold. She’s more at ease in the moderate seasons of Spring and Autumn. Heat and humidity increase her fiery constitution and make her feel like she wants to peel her skin off; afternoon naps and cold showers will ease symptoms. Stubborn and vain, Georgina chooses form over function every time so ensure she is appropriately dressed for the weather.
Regular appointments with her osteopath will help keep her right sacro-illiac joint, dodgy hamstring and hypermobile joints in check. Ensure she actually does the recommended exercises and uses her spikey ball under her feet daily.
Prone to bouts of depression and anxiety, Georgina has a tendency to over-analyse everything. Quick fixes include hugs, hot showers, essential oils and home-made masala chai. Too many self help books, blogs, vlogs and podcasts make her feel inadequate and consumption should be limited. If she has spent too many days in a row wearing active wear or pyjamas, encourage her to dress up and put lipstick on (make sure it has a silly name like Lady Danger or Vegas Volt).
Mind body practices are essential to her long term mental health.
She is a nicer person (to herself and others) when she:
- breathes deeply
- meditates daily
- uses restorative yoga poses to relax and unwind
- practises gratitude
- has regular kinesiology sessions.
As a Scorpio, Georgina has a natural affinity for water and loves to swim. She feels calmer when she’s near the water: ocean, rivers, rain water and even showers do the trick!
Get her out of her head and into her body as much as possible.
She’s not naturally athletic and tends to moan and groan about exercising. She likes the gym (once she’s there) but prefers fitness served with a side of fun:
- dancing around the house
- walks with Luigi and/or friends
Do it early in the day or it’ll get over-shadowed by her mammoth to-do list!
Georgina thrives on nourishing, home-cooked meals and gets HANGRY if she doesn’t eat regularly.
She tends to be lazy when she’s alone. Having leftovers or pre-prepared meals and snacks in her fridge, handbag and car will prevent her from skipping meals. For optimum energy and gastrointestinal comfort, avoid gluten, dairy, excessive alcohol and refined sugar. Make sure she takes her supplements every day and carries a water bottle wherever she goes.
Georgina requires 8 hours sleep and likes to be asleep by 9pm. Although she’s a morning person, she’ll reach for the snooze button in the colder months. Sleeping with both the blind and window open a little helps.
Resistant to change, Georgina thinks she knows best
(she’ll deviously tell you she’s done all of these things but you may need to double check…)
Anna Guest-Jelley is the founder of Curvy Yoga and the host of Love Curvy Yoga Podcast. If you’re inspired to create your own (self) care instructions, check out the podcast: How to create your own care instructions (season 2, episode 13).