When we talk about looking after ourselves, it often is assumed we mean being thinner or physically fitter - but for me, it's a much bigger picture. I know that my health and well-being is about more than the size of clothes I wear or how many steps I have clocked up on my fit bit. Instead, it is about self-care and ensuring I look after myself in different ways.
Knowing My Body Is OK
One of the biggest steps for self-care for me was learning to be passionately in love with my body. I haven't ever hated it, but over the last few years learning to love my body has been life changing. Discovering plus size blogs was a big part of this journey - coming to the realisation that I wasn't alone really was life changing. For me, a vital part of my self-care is being choosy with my social media newsfeeds. I unfollow and unfriend anyone who body shames or talks about people in a negative way. Having a positive space online has helped my head become clearer and my body a much happier place to be in.
Getting a Good Night's Sleep
I am writing this at midnight so not the best example of practising what I preach, but I am getting there. I'm off work tomorrow so I know I can treat myself to a lie in. Getting a good night's sleep really helps with setting you up for the day and ensuring that you feel at the top of your game. If you struggle to sleep there are some ways that you can help yourself get a restful nights slumber. For example a regular bed time routine should ensure that you fall asleep quickly. Having a room that is very dark and very quiet also helps - so invest in black out curtains, do what you can to shut up snoring partners and turn off any gadgets/phones/tablets etc.
Looking After You
Whatever you need to do to keep yourself happy - do it! For me being sociable is a big part of this. I enjoy attending events, meeting new people, going out for dinner etc. It might not seem like this could be classed as self-care, but you really need to do what you can to keep your head positive. Of course it stands to reason that life gets in the way and you're not going to be able to do these things all of the time. One thing that works well for me is booking things to do in advance. Then I know that I have always got something to look forward to and get excited about!
What is important to remember is that you are important. Everyone's version of self-care and looking after themselves is different. It doesn't have to be about dieting or changing your body - a change in routine or a change in the way you think can be just as effective.