Do you start the year with the best of intentions only to find that your motivation fizzles out mid-January? Instead of making resolutions that you can’t keep, why not try focusing on developing self-care practices to keep you going throughout the year?
This year we’ve teamed up with author, psychologist and yoga teacher Suzy Reading to put together a 14-day self care challenge to help you discover new wellbeing tools to build your confidence and optimism.
We’re also delighted to welcome her back to the podcast to share her favourite self care tips. As an extra treat, we’ve created a special mood library poster download to help you record all the things that lift your spirits, from books to podcasts and movies.
In this episode, we discuss practical ways to bring self-care into every area of your life, from ways to keep calm at work to how to manage anxious thoughts.
January can often be a gloomy and depressing time for many people, so we asked Suzy why the winter affects our moods so much. “It’s a heavy time of year, isn’t it?” she says. “Seasonally, we don’t get as much light. It’s not as easy to effortlessly recharge yourself in nature’s beauty. It requires a bit more effort – you have to get rugged up and get out in it and kind of steel yourself a little bit to enjoy it. It’s still possible.
“And I think, energetically, we have this sense of… we want to turn over a new leaf, but really we don’t have that natural resurgence of energy for another couple of months with the rebirth of spring. So it’s a tough time for a lot of different reasons. And I think financially too – some people feel the squeeze – and there’s that pendulum swing. We’ve gone from lots of excess, late nights, lots of socialising, indulgence and we kind of want to get back to a cleaner way of living and sometimes we swing the pendulum too far. We expect too much of ourselves.”
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Suzy says we often end up being hard on ourselves and feeling bad for not achieving all of the things that we want to achieve.
Many people feel guilty about spending time on self care, but Suzy has some tips to help you overcome that guilt. First, you need to think about why you need self care in your life and why it can benefit you and those nearest and dearest to you. “Once you get clear on that, it’s easier to take action in the face of guilt,” she says. “I think guilt is fairly ever-present, so rather than trying to eradicate it, if we can just remember our why of self care, that’s the thing that allows us to do it even though it might feel a little bit uncomfortable.
“The mantra is ‘it doesn’t have to be me first, it’s me as well’,” she explains.
Listen to the rest of Suzy’s tips on our podcast and don’t forget to catch up on the self-care challenge, which begins on 1 January. You can also find more self-care advice from Suzy on her previous In The Moment Magazine podcast episode.