I read an article in a popular newspaper recently that said we are all so exhausted (referring to the situation over these last few years) that we need another word for it!
But how do we deal with exhaustion?
The pressure we have from the constant negative bombardment of the media, the pressure of work and life, and caring for others? How can we keep ourselves well?
Self care is something I talk about a lot – looking after and nourishing ourselves because, if we aren’t well and at our best, then how can we best support the people (and animals) in our lives that we love and care for.
I never used to look after myself properly. I was always pushing for the next physical or mental challenge or achievement, always on the go. I was happy but I never gave myself any time out, and it began to show when I had children, especially after number 2 came along, and I began to fall apart!
I already had Reiki and running as my self-care tools but I felt so stressed and overwhelmed with the pressures of motherhood and work that I couldn’t see a way out and was desperate to try anything. This was when mindfulness fell into my path, divine timing some might say, and I began my journey of recovery.
It didn’t happen overnight, and it took some work and dedication to practice but my goodness, did I begin to feel better! In fact it completely changed my life around and gave me back control – not controlling my emotions but learning not to be controlled by them.
If you are someone who, like I used to, thinks that looking after yourself is selfish and that it is your duty to put everyone else before you, then I’d love you to try this little exercise.
Think about yourself when you are happy – doing something fun that you love, that nourishes you. How does that make you feel? How is your energy? How do other people see you? I imagine you radiate positive energy and joy, which rubs off on others.
Now think about yourself when you are tired, low in mood, engaging in activities that deplete you and not looking after yourself very well. How does that make you feel? How is your energy? How do other people see and feel you? Hmm..!
This is why self care is not selfish! Taking time for you is a necessity, not a treat or an indulgence – it is a MUST! So you can be the best version of you for those you connect with and care for. Do you remember the oxygen mask analogy on an aeroplane? You need to put your mask on before those you are responsible for, because otherwise you won’t be able to help them.
You can begin to build your own self care routine. Think about what nourishes you and brings you joy and find a way to prioritise this in your life. Is it mindfulness, yoga, long walks in nature, exercise, a hot bath or snuggling up under a blanket with a good book? Can you set aside a bit of time each day to do something for yourself. Can you make it a habit?
Personally as I have a busy family life, I get up at 6am and do 15 minutes of yoga and then 30 minutes of mindfulness before everyone gets up. For me it’s like having a mental shower and I feel able to start the day with a clear mind and a smile. If I squeeze a run or a mindful walk in nature in my day then even better!
Spending time in nature, especially in a mindful way is a great start to improving our wellbeing. It is so simple yet lifts our mood, reduces our blood pressure and boosts our immune systems. If we can have some fun along the way then even better!
I can help you find the self-care tools that you need to be well and to keep yourself well, being the best version of yourself. Why not have a browse through my website here and see what calls to you.
I am not the only small business out there who wants to see people be well, to flourish, to be happy. If you need some more help, have a search on Google. See who’s around. Reach out to a friend for a hug. But most importantly look after yourself!
Love and light, Jen x