31 Aug Self-Care is not Selfish.
So how are you…really?
Every day, I see the crazy, messy, demanding, no down-time, don’t let anyone see what this is really like truth people are living. I also see people searching for something different. Searching for something they believe is unattainable. Lives that they can enjoy, space to breathe, time to live and not just exist.
I have lived it and know it to be true. I am hardwired with a massive tendency to overload myself and overcommit. I have very high expectations of myself, three very busy children, coupled with a husband who travels for work and I run my own business so I know intimately, the juggle and the struggle that we women face. For a long time I spent my days over scheduling, trying to do it all, be it all and have it all. I was running on adrenalin and juggling lots of balls (pretty well) but I was missing basic opportunities for connectedness and happiness. I started to burn out.
So I stepped back. Big time. I had to make some changes that would better support me and my family. What I have learned over many years is that for me to thrive – at work and at home I need be very intentional and deliberate about supporting my wellbeing and investing in myself each and every day.
For so many women there is this sense of hopelessness around it all – that we are living a losing battle of just trying to stay on top of things. But here’s the thing…It is absolutely possible to live a life you love…to live a life that is full and stimulating and fulfilling but that is not panicked and rushed and chaotic.
Over time I have learned ways that have enabled me to take my wellbeing to a whole new dimension. As a result, I am more present, calm, energized and fulfilled. This didn’t just happen. It’s been a slow burn. My non-negotiables each day are good nutrition, exercise, enough sleep and meditation. By practicing these self-care rituals, I am much better at managing and embracing the busyness of life.
How to make ‘self-care’ actually happen.
It can be quite a challenge to find time for ourselves. Unless you plan it – ‘me time’ can easily fall off the to-do list.
- Commitment to self. Getting over the idea that ‘self-care’ is selfish and that in fact it’s a necessary dimension of your wellbeing is the first step. When we are tired, stressed and pulled in too many directions, it is impossible to give our best to all that we must accomplish.
- What is wasting time? Do you check your emails constantly? Answer personal calls in the middle of a work-day? Spend time mindlessly scrolling through social media? If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to prioritise your responsibilities and gain more time that way.
- Learn to say “no”. Practise makes perfect but it is okay to say no to things that you don’t really want to do, need to do and don’t value.
- Plan for it. Unless you plan for it, in our very busy, over committed lives it is likely to fall off the ‘to do’ list. We have to be pro-active about fitting it in. Schedule it like you would an appointment or a meeting.
- Commit to a minimum of 10 – 20 minutes a day. Start off small. Do something (or nothing) that you enjoy and that allows you to let go of responsibility. Everyone has 10 minutes.
- Create a daily ritual. This might be a bath, going for an evening walk or getting up early to meditate or have a quiet cup of tea alone. Build it into your day and make it something you look forward to.
No matter what ‘self-care’ means for you, it shouldn’t be at the bottom of your ‘To Do’ list. It is something we should be doing to stay healthy and happy. It’s basic. It’s fundamental.
So what can you do today to improve your self-care?
If you have a hunch that you’re not quite nailing it – I’d love to hear from you. I work with clients just like you to improve their wellness with simple strategies and routines to regain clarity and control, find balance in their day and develop healthy habits towards experiencing a more fulfilling life. Contact me here and lets have a chat.