One of my first go-tos when coaching women is to prescribe prioritising ‘exquisite self care’ in their day- to-day routine. The notion of exquisite self care has rarely been heard of let alone considered by most women I come across, but time and time again I see them light up or laugh out loud in response to the concept of this simple yet incredibly impactful notion. I visibly watch them experience a rush of relief just from someone acknowledging the yawning gap of self care in their lives. Then to realise that it is one of the most responsible things to do for themselves and for everyone around them, and that they have full permission to integrate exquisite self care throughout their busy day, well that’s just radical!
What is ‘Exquisite’ Self Care and its Benefits?
Exquisite self care essentially means giving yourself a superior quality of self care that is in some way out of the ordinary. A quality that leaves you feeling exquisite, luxurious and abundant. A level of care that’s beyond normal, where you treat yourself like a precious jewel and have an experience of feeling cherished, nourished and revitalised. Paradoxically, we actually create what we are trying to avoid when we just pummel on through without caring exquisitely for ourselves, believing the more we achieve will somehow alleviate the stress and fear of failure we are striving so hard to avoid. Actually our stresses then just catch up with us. Instead we are more resilient and more able to handle life’s stresses when we are feeling our best both physically and emotionally. We need to fuel up in the moments we do give to ourselves so we have the resource to draw upon in the times when we most need it. Only then can we be physically and emotionally healthy.
How can you integrate exquisite self care into your day?
When time is tight and demands of family, children, and work seem to swallow up all your energy and time, these few small shifts can help to integrate exquisite care into your routine:
- Be open to making time: If we tell ourselves that we have no time, and insist that exquisite self care is only for other people with easier lives, then we stay in the cycle of burnout and overwhelm, which we are trying to avoid. Choosing to be open and solution focused will allow the imagination to flow, allowing creative solutions to reveal themselves.
- Create an energy timetable: Make a timetable that focuses on how you currently spend your energy (as opposed to time) and identifies what gives you more energy and what is taking your energy. It allows you to see how you are prioritising activities unconsciously, and how you can re-prioritise and re-balance in order to receive more energy and resources to balance the giving and receiving cycle. Obviously there are always demands that you can’t avoid, but once you can see it all in front of you, it always becomes clear that there are variables and ways to make your world work for you even better. Some things are easy to implement immediately, and some can be implemented over time.
Exquisite Self Care Ideas
The beauty of exquisite self care is that although you can create a new energy timetable that may give you space to book a massage or time with a friend, it really can be inexpensive and only requires small adjustments to increase the quality of your experience. See below for ideas…
Meditation: One minute meditations are amazing. Try it: set your alarm on your phone and just take one minute to sit, ‘be’ and breathe. It can have immediate results and give you new resources. Obviously, if you can do more, then all the better.
- Breathing: Before you get out of bed, take five minutes to do some deep breathing, to adjust yourself to the day.
- Stretching: Start the day with five minutes stretching to loosen out the body and prepare it for the day.
- Technology: Make a conscious decision to put your phone down when you have a spare moment, and sit outside or read a book- even for 10 minutes.
- Walk: Go for a brisk 5/10 min walk in the sunshine.
- Hot bath: Use a scented candle, put on some soothing music, or drink some herbal tea and chocolate.
- Shopping: When you’re out doing your usual shop, pick up some luxury chocolate, luxurious bath salts, bubbles, oils, scented soaps etc that is solely for you, for your exquisite self care moments throughout the week.
- Massage: Exchange with a friend or your spouse, or use an electronic massager.
- Hair: Deep-condition your hair. Face: Use a facial masque for extra soft skin. Feet: Use a pumice stone to soften feet and give them some reflexology all at the same time.
- Skin: Rich, luxurious creams smell wonderful and feel smooth, especially if you exfoliate your skin in the tub before putting them on.
- Nails: Simply a little filing and hand moisturiser whilst watching a film in the evening, can be very relaxing.
- Food and exercise: Being more mindful about what you are eating, getting regular exercise and being sure you get enough sleep are all important for long-term health and stress management.
- Sleep: Drink Camomile tea, stretch before bed, have a hot bath or simply do some deep breathing to help you let go of muscle tension and sink into a deeper more restorative sleep.
Everyone’s version of exquisite self care will differ. For some, it’s buying scented candles for their bath, and for others it’s asking a partner or neighbour to watch the kids so they can get some much needed time out. To others it might be something grander. Whatever you do make sure that you treat yourself as you would a dear friend or lover, ensure that it feeds your soul, acknowledges that you are a beautiful feminine queen, and reminds you that you are valued and cared for. Exquisite self care is your power source. We all have the ability to raise our quality of self care in some way and we are all worthy of the very best in self love.