Rosie’s rules of life in self-care

Rosanna Machado | September 10, 2019

I am a creature of habit, to the extent that one of my colleagues coined the phrase Rosie’s rules of life when she worked with me and was astonished at my habit of logging how many times I swim a week, whether I walk 10,000 steps…I could go on as the list is endless!

But what started as a sense of achievement and something to satisfy my list-making obsession, has actually become an important part of my life – self-care, knowing what I need to do each week to feel great mentally and physically. When I took up swimming, I wanted to swim three times a week but struggled for several years to swim the same fixed days each week as invariably I’d have a meeting in Leicester or a breakfast event to go to. One day, I had a light bulb moment and realised that if I planned on a weekly basis, I could look at my diary on a Sunday and choose the days that would work for me.  It seems such a simple tweak, but it has revolutionised my routine, making it far more achievable and flexible to fit around other commitments.

For your self-care regime, why not think about:

  • What works for you – it is different for everyone so work out what you need to do on a daily / weekly / monthly basis
  • Think about mini-moments throughout the day when you can re-set which could be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, pausing before responding to an aggressive email or taking 5 minutes to go for a walk outside
  • Build other activities into your schedule on a weekly basis (or a timescale that you know will work with your other commitments)
  • Think what time of day you favour for activities – I prefer to do exercise in the morning, not least because there is no chance of being tempted out for drinks or dinner and I find it energises me for the day ahead
  • Talk to your colleagues about what you need so that where possible, meetings and work can be scheduled around your commitments. This won’t always work however I think there is often a reluctance to mention life commitments for the fear that it will appear that we are not committed to our job. We will perform better at work having looked after ourselves
  • Work out your own form of mindfulness – some people struggle with meditation, but I find swimming and cooking (and mozzarella making) very mindful as I have to focus on the task in hand
  • Find activities that you want to do, that fit with you values – the moment you are motivated to do it, rather than seeing it as a chore, it is more likely to happen

Most of all be kind to yourself, figure out what works for you and make a commitment to do it – it’s not selfish and it’s what we all need mentally and physically in our hectic world.