I was catching up with my sister on Messenger the other day – who has time for real-time phone calls these days? She was lamenting how quickly life had got back to that crazy-busy state as soon as the school term began – holiday over!
It’s hard isn’t it? Keeping up with the needs of School-aged children and their social activities, caring for extended family members, meeting obligations at work, maintaining important relationships! We can get so caught up in trying to keep everyone happy we risk our own wellbeing by putting our own needs last.
I know its cliché, but those airline safety briefings are so right, and I know you have probably heard it before, but if you don’t ensure your own survival first, how are you going to meet the needs of all those other people who rely on you?
The problem is, we often don’t see self-care as essential for our survival. We think of it as a luxury, an indulgence that we will “get around to one day when we have some spare time”. Sound familiar? The fact is: Your health and wellbeing is your number one priority!!!
The bonus is that by prioritising your own self-care, you are also teaching others around you to prioritise theirs too.
Self-care doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, or take a lot of time. It can be simple things that you incorporate into your day. Ensuring good nutrition, moving your body, regular 8 hours of sleep, and having firm boundaries are what I am talking about here. These may seem simple things, but are so easy to overlook when focussing all your attention on other people’s needs.
Taking some time out to think about what is really important to you, and your loved ones, may help you to prioritise, or even discard things that are taking too much of your precious time.
Ask yourself a few questions:
“Will the world stop spinning around if I don’t (fill in the blank)?”
“How will doing (XYZ) help me to achieve my goal?
“Is it essential?” “Does it need to be done now?”
“Can someone else do it, or help me to do it (does it have to be perfect)?”
“What’s stopping me from letting go of some of these tasks?”
For me, I find just being outdoors, even for five minutes, to be incredibly restorative: breathing in the air, feeling the breeze or the sun on my skin, listening to the wind, or the birds, or the waves, seeing the vibrant colours of the sky, the earth, the water, just gives my brain a chance to ‘re-focus’, before getting on with my day.
Times have changed so much since we were kids – life is getting more and more fast-paced, and it is hard to disconnect from the pressures in our modern internet-driven world, but it is ok to switch off, slow down, be with people or in places that energise and restore you.
Be kind to yourself, recognise that you are doing the best you can, and give yourself permission to prioritise your wellbeing.
Most importantly, speak up and reach out if you need some help.
If you would like support to manage difficult emotions, increase your confidence, silence your 'inner critic', improve your mood, or change unhelpful patterns of behaviour, please be in touch, I would love to work with you towards creating a Healthier, Happier and more Harmonious life.