Many of you know how much of an advocate I am for self-care and taking time for our own well-being. This year it has been my own personal challenge to focus on the discipline of self-care, to try and take back some control, put myself first and make time for me. Now we’ve hit June I wanted to reflect on how I am doing with self-care and is it really worth it. Well the simple answer is YES!
I am one of these people who say yes to everyone, put others first and myself last. Some might say this is selfless, thoughtful, kind, loving, compassionate – I am all of those things but not at the detriment to my own health. I often think self-care can be confused with paying for time out but it doesn’t have to be, self-care can take many forms, a cup of tea in the sunshine, a hot bubble bath at the end of the day, delve into a juicy book and escape from the world, go for a walk, run or bike ride – explore the nature and freedom around you or one of my personal favourites put on some fabulous music and dance like no one is watching. It can be so simple, so why as a society are we making it so complicated to give ourselves permission to have self-care time.
Guilt! I am conscious of this myself at times and so many of my clients say to me that they feel unable to take time for themselves as they feel guilty about leaving the family and taking time out when there are so many other things to do chores, shopping, catching up with work deadlines…the list goes on. I feel so saddened that too many of us feel this way, why are we putting so much pressure on ourselves? Why is our inner critic saying we should feel guilty? There is no need to feel guilty and it needs to stop.
Self-care is essential to our own physical and mental wellbeing, we give our children time to play express themselves and be creative so they can release their emotions, process the world around them and we need to do the same. Our health is our real wealth and if we ignite our passions, give ourselves space to breathe and unwind from all that we juggle then you will begin to feel really alive, you will have more of a spring in your step, boost your self-confidence and self-worth. Just look at the difference in me from the beginning of the year to now, it is not an indulgence but a discipline and it really is worth it!
Building in self-care can be overwhelming at first, so start small take a little time everyday a brisk 10 minute walk, a coffee at your favourite café, eating your lunch outside and away from your work environment, listening to an album, starting that book – it doesn’t have to be complicated but just try some little steps and see how you can fit it into your day. Go on I hereby challenge you to make time for you every day, keep me posted on how you get on and what your favourite ‘self-care’ time involves. Be kind, be patient, be harmony, be you.