Self-care, are you aware?
Often it becomes a bit of a bad habit to neglect ourselves. There seems to be far less time to reflect, be mindful and practise self-care. I know, because I’ve been there. Its starts off just taking on a few extra commitments. Maybe a few later nights, or simply just letting your organisation and routine take the back seat and before you know it; it’s out the door. Change brings change – and without appearing to be pointing at the obvious; I’ll explain what this really means for us and our lives.
When significant changes occur in our somewhat stable habit-built lifestyle; self-care deteriorates, often without us even knowing. These changes may not always be negative, positive changes can just as easily harbour adverse effects IF we don’t take action or see the signs.
Change could be:
A new job
Taking on a second job
Losing current employment
Becoming pregnant and becoming a parent
Moving house, states or country
Becoming a part of a new friendship group, club
A death, break up or other traumatic event in your life
Supporting another who may be going through any event mentioned
These are all events that we will most likely face in life; but sometimes it’s these changes that can lead us into a cycle of self-sabotage, and without all that much warning.
What are the signs:
You’re not yourself (emotionally, physically)
You feel ‘unhappy’ for what feels like no reason
You’re exhausted and tired more often than not
You don’t do the things you enjoy
You feel like there isn’t any time for you (I’ll return to this – THERE IS!)
Friendships or social occasions have decreased
You don’t feel good about yourself
You stressed, unhappy and don’t know what to do (so you do nothing)
You put yourself last and really it’s no wonder you feel any of the above; but if you relate to any of the above know it’s not all over, you can make some small changes to turn things around! Sometimes it is about having a few hard truths with yourself. Because you are the only one that can turn your life around. Step one is seeing the signs, step two is taking action.
Don’t always bite of more than you can chew. As a big believer in getting out of your comfort zone for better things in life – be aware of limits. If something is going to have larger negative effects in the long run, it’s probably not worth it. Look at the bigger picture.
Do something you enjoy. As we get older we tend to stop doing those things we use to love. As much as they may change, it pays to look into a hobby that leaves you with that GOOD feeling. Something you do for yourself. It might be going for a walk. Reading a book. Listening to your favourite album. Watching your favourite TV show. Exercise and eating well. Getting a good night sleep. Make a list and see what you could be doing.
Learning to say no. As much as its seen as a positive to always be willing to do more – be aware of how much more you can really take on before it effects your own health. Try “I’ll get back to you” and have a really hard think of the baggage that extra commitment will bring.
Ask for help. Whether it’s at work or between friends and family; if you need a hand - speak up. Sometimes we’re really good at carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders before someone notices. Need professional support? In this day and age we live and breathe stress and pressure that can overwhelm us every day. Contact a professional. Often the best release is unwinding to a third party who is qualified to assist your needs.
Slow down. Always going a million miles an hour? Chill out! This may be your biggest vice. Learning how to take some time out and recharge. However you do it, do it knowing everything will and can wait if you need a break. It could be your saving grace.
Recognise the difference between excuses and real obstacles. Ever made a pros and cons list about something? Well now is the time to get out the pen and paper. Write down what you want to do – weigh up how you can make this happen. Start small.
Decide you are worthy of the life you want to live. In my previous blog I said this and I will say it again because it is 100% relevant. Accepting responsibility of the condition of your life will be the wisest thing you ever do. No one else can make you happy, healthy or successful! Once you decide you have a life that is worth living to the absolute fullest; your amazing adventure begins.
How we view and implement self-care is different for every person and situation. But perspective and a positive attitude can go a long way. Putting yourself first every now and then is very acceptable contrary to common belief. What we tend to forget is this. If you do not look after yourself, you are not your best self. Therefore, you cannot do things to the best of your capability. It really is a struggle to care for others, be a good role model, a parent, friend, child, employee and so on if we don’t feel good in ourselves. Start channelling your self-care radar. Make a list, talk to those close to you, ask for help if you need it and watch positive changes form in your life. Your physical health and wellbeing is one aspect I know I can help with. If this is something you struggle finding time for, let me help you! I’d love to see what we could come up with together. There is no better time for bettering your health than now.