Signs you need to up your self-care game

Recently on Instagram I’ve been talking about being tired. Whether it’s a post asking for energy tips or a story where I joke about ‘tired’ being a permanent state of being when you’re an adult, I was skirting round the real issue.

And that was that I needed to up my self-care game. I needed to work on my wind-down routine and just… get to bed earlier.

As a self-care advocate and enthusiast, I like to think I practise what I preach, but yes – of course, sometimes I let things slip.

Today I wanted to talk about those moments, when your body or mind is trying to tell you it needs some attention, and how you can up your self-care game.

FXT10081 - Kat Nicholls

Photography | Elle Narbrook 

You’re tired all the time

Well, this had to be the first one, right? If you’re struggling to sleep, or you’re getting plenty of sleep but still feel tired, your body is telling you something isn’t OK. Tune in to what’s going on, is this normal for you or unusual? Are you lying awake thinking about something? Have you been on your phone in bed?

Try this: Reassess your wind-down routine. Are you giving yourself enough time to switch from busy mode to rest mode?

You’re feeling anxious

Stress triggers anxiety for me, so often when my symptoms hit – I know it’s because I’m stressed about something and need to look after myself more. If you have certain anxiety symptoms you recognise, pause when you notice them and think about what the underlying cause could be.

Try this: Create a self-care action plan. Write down a plan of things to do that help you de-stress and put the action plan into place when you start noticing anxiety symptoms. Oh and please tell someone how you’re feeling. You don’t have to struggle alone.

Your skin is breaking out

This is a sign to me that I’ve not nourished myself with the best foods for my body and/or that I’m stressed. Your skin is often a great barometer for your overall wellbeing, if it’s not happy, think about why. Have you been eating something it doesn’t like? Are you not getting enough sleep? Are you stressed?

Try this: Incorporate skincare into your self-care routine. Carve out some time for an at-home facial, indulge in a mask and really relax. Try to make this a regular thing.

_DSF0294 - Kat Nicholls

Photography | Elle Narbrook 

You’re tearful

Oh man, this happens to me when I’m feeling burnt out. The smallest things set me off and I just generally feel quite sad. If you’re tearing up more than usual (and it’s not hormone related!) take it as a sign to slow down. Let yourself feel sad, but think about what you need to do to feel better.

Try this: Connect with loved ones. A simple but often overlooked part of self-care, sometimes a hug and a chat with someone we love can make the world of difference.

You feel overwhelmed

I feel like me and overwhelm are good pals. I tend to feel like this when I haven’t carved out enough ‘space’ in my diary. If you feel under pressure or like you simply have no time to breathe, then it’s time to take the pressure off and breathe!

Try this: Break down what’s overwhelming you into small manageable chunks. Build in rest time and self-care. If you feel under pressure by someone (say, your manager) talk to them about it and prioritise your health.

As with anything mental health related, make sure you reach out for support if self-care just isn’t cutting it or you’re feeling like this all the time. You really don’t have to feel this way.

Our lives are short and should be filled with joy. I know that sounds fluffy and is a little (fine, a lot) unrealistic, but there are ways to feel better. And if self-care is something you struggle with, for whatever reason, feel free to pop me an email. I’m looking to help people with self-care through my coaching offerings so would love to help if I can.

Are there any signs I haven’t mentioned that you notice when your self-care has slipped?

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How to up your self-care game

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