Self-Care – Helpful or Hindrance
Being a lover of language, and more specifically, the power of it, I am always intrigued how others interpret words, and what emotions they place behind them, and I have noticed that these two words evoke a difference of opinion among women I support.
Self-care is a buzz word now, regularly used in a positive way, how often do we see women talking about self-care at the spa, or when they are having a much deserved soak in the tub at the end of the day, but one contrasting opinion I have observed is that it can at times, add another layer of pressure to an already busy woman’s life.
It has become yet another thing that she now must do, or can be seen as a luxury – over indulgent!
Not only does she need to be everything to everyone, maintain a nice tidy house, keep the kids entertained, run her own business successfully, but NOW she also must also find time for Self-Care
And even after finding the time, she is not actually enjoying it, which defeats the purpose entirely!
So, I thought I would share, my interpretation of Self -Care and why I see it as non-negotiable, essential maintenance for my emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.
A couple of years back, I said to my husband that I felt completely wrung out, the least important person in the house. I told him I was the bottom brick, to which he said the following;
‘Of course you are bottom brick, you are the absolute foundations to our home, but even the foundations sometimes need to be repaired, restored or reinforced’
I loved his re-frame on this ( I have taught him well) and realised that it was my roots (foundations) that needed some TLC, and in what way(s) could I do that?
I started to make a list of all the things I enjoyed doing, and began working my way back up the ladder to balance myself out;
- Coffee with a good friend to which I knew I could verbally vomit, have a good cry unconditionally
- Walk the dog
- Time with my therapist
- Being by the sea
When we are deep in the rabbit hole of overwhelm, exhaustion and feeling unappreciated, it can be so difficult to find our way out, so this list has become my essential items, and a sure-fire way for me to feel myself again, regardless of what is happening in my life, and on the most part cost very little.
Making myself a priority, means I can be all I want to be, for both myself and all those around me, including my clients, as I simply can’t drink from an empty cup. As they say ‘apply your oxygen mask first, so you can then help others around you’
So, to finalise my point, self-care should never be something you feel obliged to do, or a chore!
It is essential maintenance to a heavily (sometimes over) used machine – your MIND and BODY, and just like any good machine, if we overwork it, don’t maintain it, it will stop to function! One thing you can be sure of, is that the body will take you down, if you don’t pay attention to the signs that you are depleted and running on empty, and to quote one of my fave ladies;
‘The body keeps score, and it always wins’
If you can take one thing from my beliefs here, (because after all that is all the words above are), I would love it to be, that you are going to make the conscious decision to honour your own beautiful machine, and give it regular maintenance, so that it can function for many years to come, meaning you can be present in all areas of your life