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What Motivates You to Take Better Care of Yourself?

These views mean I have no problem getting out for at least a walk every day.

Exercise

On days I cycle into town (just 20 minutes away. A scary – 80 kph in part – but beautiful route), I feel compelled to walk to the Quay to get my sea view fix, too.

And then there are the days I add an hour’s (heated pool – my sea swims aren’t that long unless holidaying in warmer climes) swim.

All of this makes me feel better. Much, much better.

I like the rain and wind, too (or I wouldn’t have moved to Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way) and I find those more bracing walks healing and beneficial too.

This helps me feel confident that I’ll be keeping up my walks and bike rides (until I learn to drive) in winter, too.

And that, for me, feels like having enough food in the cupboard to feel secure and safe in terms of sustaining my own essential self care strategies and practices.

I’ve lived in many places where it was a trek to get out to wherever I could then do the thing that would help me feel better (swim, yoga class etc).

Now, my yoga mat and hallway view means I start each day doing Mountain pose while overlooking the Reek (aka Croagh Patrick).

What motivates YOU to do more of what helps you feel better?

Self care can feel indulgent and also life saving, depending on our mood and energy levels. I first became interested in this whole area because I was struggling with how I felt.

This example is about walking – activity. Wonderful for stress and anxiety relief, amazing for processing things and creative breakthroughs, a delightful gratitude practice add on (speaking aloud what we’re grateful for) but you might choose something else.

Food

Food is another basic thing we take for granted until we lose the will to take care of ourselves in this way.

What go to foods nourish you and are easy to prepare even on the days when your mood and energy levels mean you only feel like opening a packet of crisps (or whatever your equivalent might be)?

For me, batch cooking and freezing soups and smoothies help enormously as well as having some simple, quick nutritious enough (bearing in mind I consider the apples and blackberries in my home made jam two of my day’s fruit and veg) snacks and meals accessible.

People

Who in your life energises and inspires you. Who can you count on? Who makes the boring stuff feel like fun? Who do you laugh with? Who do you love? How can you make more time and space for these kinds of relationships and interactions?

Your schedule

On days where you’re not feeling 100%, what can be postponed or even cancelled? How can you take some of what’s overwhelming you off your plate? How can you prioritise?

I’ve been shocked at how much my moves have impacted my usual capacity to get so much done and my working days have shifted as a result (and my prioritising what feels better – eg getting out for a walk during a break instead of my old all or nothing approach – has helped me become more efficient, effective AND relaxed. Some of the time. Progress not perfection and all that).

When you look at your schedule for the week ahead, what energises you as you even think about it? What feels like it’s sucking your energy?

How might you schedule in more of the former and less of the latter in the future – am not at all suggesting you let people down but gaining awareness means we can focus more on our strengths and what feels better.

These are just a few ideas (you’ll find many more in my book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing)

But for me, most of all, it comes back to nature. These views inspire and motivate me. No matter how overwhelmed I might be feeling, they help me connect with that more expansive part of myself.

Before I got here, looking at pictures (asking people already here to send me wintry pics as well as the more traditionally lovely ones) helped me imagine all working out.

What is it that you’re currently working towards? Maybe something as simple as pictures of something you’re looking forward to in your future (or something tactile that you can feel, an emotion you can connect with in your imagination, a sound or even taste or smell) will help motivate you through the week and beyond.

If you’d like my support, you can find out more about working with me and accessing free Be Your Own Self Care Coach resources and get in touch if you want to.

Or you might simply connect with that part of yourself that already knows by making a few notes to remind you of the things that will help you feel better next time you forget.

Big love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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