If there’s one thing that’s important for our mental health, it’s self care. Every day self care is necessary for keeping us physically and mentally healthy and happy. And if there’s 1 thing that really helps me to manage my self care, it’s the 1:1 Rule. This is a rule that I learned when I was in therapy and struggling to understand the difference between quality self care and just plain old self indulgence. And it’s a rule I want to share with you guys!
I think the difference between these two things is something that lots of us struggle with. I found using the analogy of a small child really helpful. Think of yourself as a 5 year old for a moment. Yes, self indulgence is important. It’s absolutely good to indulge yourself every now and again, just like you would with a small child. Treats are nice. I love treats! YAY for treats! But you’ve also got to teach that 5 year old some responsibility, right? It can’t be all treats all the time. What does the 5 year old learn from that? What skills does she develop? How does it help her to grow?
Instead, you strike a balance. You definitely indulge her now and again, and you encourage the 5 year old to do little jobs, teaching her things along the way.
Self care is pretty much the same thing. We definitely need to indulge ourselves sometimes. There’s no doubt about that. But we can’t forget about the things that actually really need to be done, like laundry and household admin and grocery shopping etc. If we don’t take care of those things, they build up and cause major anxiety and stress. That’s just not a good way to take care of ourselves is it?
But it can be hard to do those things. Especially since people got the idea that self care is all brunches and peonies and asos hauls. The 1:1 Rule is the perfect way to strike the balance between self indulgence and self care practice. I use it every single day and now I’m going to share it with you!
The 1:1 Rule works a little like this. Before you practice something self indulgent, practice some self care. Simple!
Here are some examples:
- Before you flop down on the couch after a hard day at work, just pop the dishes into the dishwasher.
- Before you go get the chocolate ice cream from the freezer, just quickly change your bed sheets.
- Before you meet the girlos for brunch, nip into the post office and pay that bill.
- Before you go to the cinema, remember to pop online and book your NCT.
- Before you run that gorgeous bubble bath, give the sink and toilet a quick wipe.
Each time you do something you really enjoy doing, make sure to balance it with something you’ll be really glad you did.
You get the drift. It’s tit for tat. 1:1. It’s really important to remember that this isn’t a rewards system you’re setting up here. You don’t have to do a single thing to justify eating chocolate ice cream or buying something for yourself. That is very much, NOT what this is about.
It’s really just a way for you to manage your self care practice and ensure that you’re doing the things you need to do, just as much as you’re doing the things that you want to do. The wonderful thing about it is, when you’ve done something you need to do first, you enjoy the thing you want to do so much more!
So that’s it! In my opinion, anything that helps us take better care of ourselves is awesome, and while something might work really well for me it mightn’t work so well for you. We’re all unique and that’s why building our own personal self care toolkits is so important for our individual self care practices.
I hope you give the 1:1 Rule a try and let me know how you find it. As always, please share any self care tips and tricks you have in the comments section below.