I’ll be completely honest I used to think that self-care was like an English summer of wall to wall sunshine- a nice idea but really, really unlikely.
So for years, I practised the polar opposite of self-care; I ignored signals from both my mind and my body; I never took downtime: in fact, taking time out was a sign of weakness as far as I was concerned. I measured my worth in terms of how hard I could go and for how long: getting run down and getting a cold as I always did because I consistently blasted myself was just something else to work through.
I think the first time I really stopped was when I started getting panic attacks- because even I couldn’t work my way out of one of those bad boys. I simply had to stop and listen- only I was so disconnected from me it took a while to learn what I was listening to and who I actually was without the 14 hour days, two jobs and the martyrdom that I had created for myself.
And here’s what I took my sweet time to learn:
-When I take care of myself I am capable of amazing things and I feel happy
-I am worthy of the best care I can give myself
-My body and mind will tell me what’s what if I will only sit still enough to listen
-My feelings and emotions are safe and usually need only time and space to be experienced
I recently co-hosted a Time For Me supper club which was a great opportunity to get strategic about self-care, what it meant to us and how practically we can fit self-care into busy lives. And here is some of what we discussed:
What is self-care to us?
-Self-care is very individual: it depends on what you need at that point in time
-Despite some of the resistance that can come up we are all always worthy of self-care
-Self-care is about self-love and acceptance and we all deserve that
-When we most feel like just ploughing on through is when we need to stop and take care of ourselves
-How can we make self-care a part of our lives?
-Know what increases our energy and what depletes it- give ourselves more of what increases it
-Get comfortable with turning technology off and having periods of time where you aren’t currently responding to the world
-Get clear in our top 7 priorities and get comfy with saying no, with love, to the things that don’t meet our top priorities
-Create an absolute no list e.g. I don’t go to work when I’m sick, I don’t say yes to things when my body is screaming no
-Get comfy with the beautiful process of mirror work that the wonderful Louise Hay created
Do something you love every day
Wherever you are on the journey of self-care, I hope that this will have been helpful. Just know that you are worthy of an amazing life and that life gets more amazing when we treat ourselves well and gift to ourselves the love that we readily offer to others.
Love Loux x
Please share with fellow humans :-)
Louise Alexander Emotional Wellbeing Therapist
At the Heart of Health