Everyone I've spoken to this last week is tired, energy less and ready for a break. With Christmas looming the chances of a break for most of us are slim. It's more likely we'll end up getting run down under the shear amount of physical, mental and emotion work that needs to be done before the 24.
If you're like me you've probably placed yourself at the end of your list of Christmas priorities. That ache or pain you've had for months can wait, that hair cut you've been meaning to get has been rolled over again to next week so that you can source some xmas presents for your kids teachers. It's all too familiar.
Well this week I'm revolutionising my priority list. I'm at the top. It feels weird. Luxurious even and comes with a side order of guilt. Well this week I'm facing my fear of guilt, I'm looking it right in the eye and smiling at it. Guilt is just my conditioning and I don't have to play along with my conditioning. I've decided to change the rules.
What I've come to realise this Autumn is that a lot of the time when I'm
looking after' people and 'getting stuff done' I'm not actually serving me or the people I love that well. I am doing all the 'jobs' but I am getting ill, building resentment, growing tired and getting irritable with the my husband and the kids. I may achieve all my 'jobs' but to what end? I'm exhausted and everyone's feeling tense.
So this week I have mostly be taking any opportunity possible not to 'do' what's on my list. I've not finished work that's hanging around. I've not emptied the dishwasher in advance, I've waited till the dishes pile so high I have to. I've not rushed back to squeeze in a million and one things I need to to before I go to work or pick up the kids. I've sat no the couch and for the fist time since Feb and watched TV in the daytime. I've taken a long bath, listened to yoga nidra and I've walked in the fresh air. Sounds decadent doesn't it. Why though? How did looking after ourselves become such a guilty pleasure? The answer is for another post. What is important though is that we ask ourselves why it's so hard for most of us to look after ourselves when we know we need it.
All I know is that it ends here. I am in charge of looking after me first and foremost. If I don't look after myself I simply can't look after the ones I love as well as I'd like. So I choose to show myself the same love, affection and kindness I would a dear friend.
And I will make sure I read that fridge magnet pictured above every day from now on as a reminder of how to be kind to myself. I hope you find some inspiration to do the same because we are all precious, worthy, welcome and wondrous.
Top tips for creating a self-care practice (all year round!)
1. Take a few minutes a day to stop, feel the ground, breathe deep... to feel, see, hear, sense the world/space you are in.
2. Put something for yourself at the top of your to do list each day.
3. Do something you love, that makes your smile every day i.e. walk your dog, speak to a friend, dance in your kitchen, read your favourite book.
4. Do as much resting as 'doing'! Everything in equal measure.
5. Take proper healing rest by way of relaxation, restorative yoga or yoga nidra.
Download FREE 'Kindness' nidra
6. Give yourself a hug, you deserve it.
7. Smile at yourself in the mirror when you pass your reflection.
8. Eat well. Take food that is nourishing, wholesome. It's hard at this time of year so try one day on and one day off to get some balance.
Good luck and enjoy your new self-care routine, whatever and however it is.