When was the last time you took time out of your schedule to look after yourself? I mean REALLY look after yourself?
We are all busy and we tend to run around making sure everyone else is OK – it is easy to forget about ourselves.
As a single working mum I know that I am always on the go – making sure the kids have what they need for school, making meals, sorting the housework, keeping the garden tidy, ensuring homework is done, being a taxi driver ferrying them to and from their social engagements, doing the laundry (the never-ending laundry – how do we go through so many clothes?!), caring for my elderly mother, being in a committed relationship … oh and running a full-time business while I am at it!
I often find myself under pressure but I don’t allow my hectic schedule to get in the way of my self care because if I don’t look after myself then I am no use to anyone else.
What use am I as a mum if I am too tired to interact with my kids?
What use am I as a daughter if I have no energy to care for my elderly mum?
What use am I as a friend if I have no time to go for a coffee and a chat?
What use am I as a girlfriend if I am to stressed from work to relax and enjoy date night?
What use am I as your therapist if I don’t walk my talk and look after myself?
When I don’t look after myself my energy levels start to dip, my sleep pattern gets disrupted, my healthy eating habits go out the window, my stress levels go up and I find myself spiralling towards the big black pit of depression that I took so long to get out of.
Why do we find it so difficult to take proper time out for ourselves?
I don’t know about you, but it seems so much easier to fall back into old habits when we are stressed or under pressure rather than taking time out for self-care doesn’t it?
I promise you though, whilst it seems counter-intuitive to slow down and take time out when you are under pressure, it really does work.
When you slow down and give yourself a break you diffuse the time bomb that is going to go off. You recharge your batteries – I mean come on .. you recharge your phone every day don’t you? You don’t expect it to just go on and on and on without a recharge?
There are lots of ways to incorporate self-care into your schedule – go for a walk on your lunch break rather than sitting in the staff room, have an early night and read your favourite book, savour your coffee break rather than gossiping with colleagues, get some exercise, look after your nutrition, take a few minutes each morning to meditate and set a positive intention for the day, say yes to that invite from an old friend for a chat, pick up the phone and ring a friend rather than texting … the list could go on and on.
I would also advocate that you take an hour at least once a month and treat yourself to a lovely time out. For me, I go and have acupuncture and energy clearing work done once a month as my special treat. I really look forward to that hour where I am the one on the massage table being treated rather than the other way round! It gives me something to look forward to and makes all the hard work worthwhile.
So I will ask again – when was the last time you took time for self-care? When was the last time you had a massage or a Reiki session or reflexology or acupuncture …. or a facial, your nails done, your hair done?
Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. By taking time to take care of yourself you are subconsciously giving other people permission to do the same – and this will spread a ripple of self care and love throughout your world. How wonderful eh?!