A great initiative, a subject close to my heart, in fact I just did a talk on it last week. But I couldn’t help but think, what a sad state of affairs that we need to have a dedicated week to remind ourselves to take care of ourselves. Shouldn’t we be doing this all the time?
It’s interesting isn’t it.
How much do we truly value our worth if we put ourselves right at the bottom of the to-do list to take care of ourselves?
We consistently put things off, to go for that run, to do that yoga class, to take an hour for lunch, to take a day off, and to not feel guilty about it?
It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend that stuck with me a few years ago. She is a mum of two gorgeous (and very well-behaved) children, always immaculate, social life to die for, makes parenting look effortless and always involved in exciting business and charity projects. She said, for her, the key to being a good parent, wife, friend and businesswoman was taking care of herself. First. A stance that she was often met with by surprise, as if she was the most selfish mother in the world for thinking that way.
She said –
“Remember Nova, if the plane goes down they always tell you to put your safety mask on first” !
We laughed in jest, but it all made complete sense to me. Especially working within wellbeing.
As a caregiver one of the first things you’re taught in your training is to look after yourself otherwise it has a huge impact on your ability to do your job.
We often bend over backwards to help or give to others and often leave our own cup depleted.
Is it because our culture generally makes us believe that taking care of ourselves is indulgent or selfish. But it’s quite the opposite, is completely and utterly essential.
Without our health we are no good to man nor beast, so rather than burn ourselves to the ground or wait for the s**t to hit the fan, it makes total sense to incorporate some really simple regimes into our lifestyles to keep us well and also to build resilience and to enable us to be better equipped to cope with any pressure or challenges that will inevitably be thrown at us.
Life continuously demands our attention. There is ALWAYS something on the to-do-list. Something we need or desire, not enough money to pay for it, not enough time to do it. Sometimes our diaries feel completely and utterly unforgivable and the cycle of the rhythm of life can sometimes feel you’re on a treadmill task…
Lets look at weddings, I’ve spoken about it before, they can bring out the best in some people and the absolute worst in others. I recognise there are ridiculously high expectations to have a certain type of wedding, whilst navigating unexpected family politics, strong opinions and personalities. That and taking on the task of planning alongside a day job and life that continues to bubble along in the background, also adds to that unexpected wedding planning pressure and can manifest in many weird and wonderful ways.
In this whirlwind we can forget to truly take care of ourselves, especially when juggling alongside a day job you can start to feel completely depleted. We can feel guilty about feeling anything but happy and excited for our big day. I mean, just engaged, marrying the love of your life, or just married, why should you possibly be stressed or feeling anything other than joy, right?
Self Care week reminds us that we need to be kinder to ourselves. It reminds us to build our own resilience to handing what life throws at us. It is a reminder to put ourselves first. It reminds us of the importance of doing so continuously, in the same way that we would fuel our car. Don’t leave yourself depleted! Value yourself much, much more.
Pressure, challenge, discomfort will always be in our lives in some form and pressure for one person might be an exciting and motivating opportunity for someone else. It affects us all differently. But life happens and without taking conscious measures of how we deal with it, can manifest, at worse, into ill-health. So it’s beneficial to try to take a proactive approach to learning to take better care of ourselves. Not just when we’re feeling rubbish or burnout, but all the time and improving the culture around our own self-care.
What are the things you tend to stop doing when you are feeling time poor or under-pressure? Whatever that is for you, start doing them again!
You’ll be hearing much more from me about self-care, but for now, here’s some really simple ideas to inject a little TLC into your weekend this week.
What are you doing this weekend to look after number one and take care of yourself?
Something for you
Aside from some mediation and de-cluttering (lol) One of the things I love doing, is giving to others. It’s scientifically proven that by giving to others can also give a boost in our own wellbeing. Probably one of the many reasons why I enjoy being part of the Bags of Kindness group and why I love Christmas so much! SO Since it’s the season of giving, I am giving away a surprise box of carefully selected pick me ups, treats and self-care goodies, for one lucky reader. Yes. Yes I am.
Just comment with your name and email below or comment on this post on Facebook by Sunday the 27th November at 5pm (GMT), to be in with a chance of grabbing aa surprise treat! Winners will be selected randomly and announced on social media on Monday 28th November 2016.