Many of you will be outward focused (like me!) meaning that you spend a lot of your time and energy looking after, caring for and loving others. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give but what happens when your internal supplies start to dwindle and you become tired and suddenly realise that you have let yourself go?
This is where you have to step out of life for a moment and take a breather. You know that you won’t be able to be all those things to the people you help and support if you can’t even support yourself. So take the time now before you reach complete burnout and can’t get back!
I have the solution that will hep you to retain your own health and well-being while also giving you the energy to take care of those around you. There is nothing wrong with feeling worn out, it is completely natural when you are giving so much. Looking after yourself is not selfish, but the best thing you can do for EVERYONE!
I am not saying that it is going to be easy – you are going to have to do some hard work to get yourself to the best place that you can be and depending on how far you have gone down the slippery slope, you might have some challenged ahead. Don’t worry, though, I am here to cheer you along as I know you are to help me and the rest of the caring people who I know are in the same boat.
Firstly you need to look at where you are right now. Are you heavier than you would like to be? Are you letting fitness fall to the wayside? Are you eating badly just to save time to be able to properly feed someone else? These are just some of the small things that you do because you want to be there for everyone else. You need to STOP!
What can you do right this minute to make yourself feel better? It could be preparing yourself a hearty, healthy meal and eating it in peace. Planning to have some ‘me’ time or a bath when you get home this evening. Or making the appointment to visit the doctor about that niggling issue that you have been ignoring.
Whatever it is, make sure that you do it as soon as you can. Getting the ball rolling is half the problem, so if you can take action now then you will start to build the momentum.
How does it feel to be doing something for yourself? Good?
If you are feeling guilty about taking concentrating on yourself, please do not. Remember what the other option is if you hit burnout – nobody has your help or support and you are in a miserable unwell state… not nice!
Now that you are in the right place knowing that you are in the right place to make change and that you deserve some TLC to can begin to plan what you would like in your life and what would make improvements every single day. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing, just something that benefits you, take my little recent step…
You may have seen my ’30 Minute Walking Challenge’ where I am going to get out for a 30 minute walk every day (when I’m not hiking or doing 5k with my borrow doggy) so that I can build a new habit and make sure that I leave the house daily as I work from home. This is not only going to benefit my general fitness, but it will help my eyes by giving them a break from the screen and my mental well-being by the change of scenery.
Can you identify other areas in your life where you are neglecting yourself? What could you do to make it better and bring improvement into your daily life? How could you integrate activities and changes into your normal routine? Where could you steal the time from to have that break without any interruption?
Focus on you for a change and make a difference in your life. Not only will you find that you have greater energy, clearer thinking and calmer thoughts but you will be able to remember to take time for yourself.
Here are some steps that you can take to do some work on yourself TODAY:
1. Turn off the outside world
Choose a time that is good for you and turn off your computer, the phone, your mobile, tablet and anything else where people can get in touch with you and sit back and relax. Do absolutely NOTHING! And, the best bit… don’t feel guilty about it – this is your time to recharge. Like you recharge your phone over night so that it is ready for the next day, you must do the same with your body and mind otherwise you will run out of charge too soon.
2. Eat well
I know, I know, I sound like your Mum! But it is true. What you put into your body will help your body to work. You wouldn’t put grass clippings in your car and expect it to run so don’t put junk in your body and expect it to work for you.
Get outside and make time for a walk – join me in my 30 minute walking challenge! Get a pedometer so that you can monitor how well you are doing or head over to the Your Happy Life Facebook page and I’ll create a photo album for us all to share out achievements)
Seriously, by simply walking for 30 minutes, you can really clear you mind, shake negativity and boost your energy levels dramatically!
4. Be Kind
You are kind to everyone else but now I want you to be kind to YOURSELF. Be gentle, don’t criticise yourself or let yourself get away with negative self talk. You are doing an amazing job and you are on a journey. There are no right or wrong ways of doing things!
5. Do something you enjoy
Every day make time for doing something that brings YOU great joy! Like reading a book, chatting with friends or savouring the smell of some flowers on your fireplace. Whatever you choose, it must be for YOU.
How will you start the work on yourself? We are all works in progress and at different stages in life and journey so be yourself, love yourself and care for yourself.