Time to get selfish with your self-care

With such busy schedules, we have all been guilty of neglecting our own self-care. Amy Gallagher, founder and director of Tula Wellness, has compiled a list of tips to help stop you ‘running on empty’ and nourish yourself.

I recently carried out a poll asking my Instagram followers if they spent enough time on their self-care. I was expecting there to be lots of nos. What I wasn’t expecting was 100 per cent of all respondents to say no. So why aren’t we making ourselves a priority? Why aren’t we putting our self-care on our to-do lists?

I run regular retreats and on the first day I often hear the word ‘guilt’ being bandied around – women feeling guilty that they are away for a nourishing weekend and have left their partners and kids behind. Or feeling guilty for using money exclusively on themselves.

As well as the guilt, the other justification I hear is ‘I just don’t have the time’. Let’s put this into perspective. If we don’t have time to spend replenishing ourselves then we are going to run out of energy to give to others. The simple truth is, we can’t pour from an empty cup.

If we are not continually nourishing ourselves, we end up running on empty and we’ve all been there. We end up tired, depleted, fatigued, moody, bitter, depressed, anxious and stressed. Our close relationships suffer especially if you feel like you’re constantly giving to others.

“Self-care is so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel,” said Eleanor Brown.

Make a promise to yourself today that you will change that – it’s time to get selfish.

Here’s some ideas to put on to your self-care list.

When you don’t want to spend any money:
1. Go for a walk in nature – perhaps you live near a park or there is one near where you work. Get up a little earlier and start your day with a grounding walk outside, breathing in the fresh air. If you’re not an early bird, do this during your lunchtime. It will get you out of the office, away from your screen and out of thinking mode. When you walk and appreciate your surroundings, it can act as a form of meditation.

2. Take a warm bath or shower before bedtime – light some scented candles and play some relaxing music. Make it a night-time ritual from time to time so you can wash away the stresses of the day and go to bed feeling calm and soothed.

3. Do something creative that you lose yourself in – cooking, painting, writing, playing music. We all usually have a creative pursuit that we enjoy but often these activities get put to the bottom of the list when we have a busy schedule. Try and make time for them at the weekends when you’re not working and notice how easily you can switch your mind off from other things.

4. Relax on the sofa or in the garden with your favourite book – it’s all too easy to spend your spare time perusing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sometimes social media can make us feel worse if we start comparing ourselves to the images we see or if we believe in the fairytale lives that others portray. Dig out a favourite novel and spend that precious hour indulging in a gripping page-turner.

When you want to connect with other people to revive you:
1. Book a lunch date with a good friend – when we’re busy our social lives can take a backseat or we don’t take the time to plan our calendars in advance. Get ahead of yourself and reserve a lunch date with one of those friends with whom you can laugh, cry, whinge and put the world to right in the space of a couple of hours.

2. Call that person you haven’t spoken to in ages – it’s easy these days to drop a short text message to someone who is dear to us rather than picking up the phone and indulging in a good old-fashioned conversation. Make the effort to call that special person and to catch up properly on each other’s lives. It’s so much more rewarding than a short, sharp text.

3. Join a new club where you will meet new people – such as a running club, yoga studio or art class. The joy of learning something new and meeting like-minded people is a great way to detach from any stresses and strains in your life.

When you’ve got some money to spend, make the time for:
1. The activity that brings you pleasure – such as a weekly yoga class, a personal training session, a long run or baking.

2. Go on a day or weekend retreat – showing up for a retreat that usually involves yoga, meditation, healthy food and healing treatments is a fantastic way to nourish your body and soul. They are a way to hit the reset button and to let go of anything that may have been wearing you down.

3. Book yourself a pamper treatment such as a relaxing massage, manicure and pedicure, facial or perhaps try an alternative treatment such as acupuncture or reiki.


Amy Gallagher is the founder and director of Tula Wellness, based in Hertfordshire. Tula Wellness offers a programme of yoga, energy healing, coaching and meditation as well as regular workshops and retreats. Gallagher’s main aim is to empower women and to help them grow into the women they want to be and create the life they imagine.