It’s a busy day at work. You have a thousand things to do in the office, an important meeting to go to, you need to go to the supermarket after the meeting because the fridge is empty plus you have a dinner at a friend’s place in the evening.
And this isn’t just one day. It’s been your life for the past few months, or even years. I am not judging you. It’s easy to fall into such a routine, and who would blame you? This rhythm is valued in our society.
The story is often the same: the first thing you scratch off the list is your sports class. “I don’t have time”. Then you start skipping meals. “I don’t have time”. Then you start sleeping 6 hours instead of 8, because there’s only 24h in one day, and you need to make use of every single minute if you’re going to fit it all in. “I don’t have time”. You might also neglect your friends for a while. “I don’t have time”. Your stress levels are sky high for days on end.
You can feel it in your body: you often get headaches, your digestion isn’t great, you feel tired and foggy, but you push through. You can do without sleeping and eating well, without spending time to do things that bring you joy and take you away, without moving your body. You’ve been living like this for years and it’s been working out-sort of. Plus, you’re not the only one to live like this, so this is how life is supposed to be, right?
One word: self-care.
You might be rolling your eyes right now.“Self-care! That means putting my needs above everybody else’s; and that’s just selfish”.
But is it?
How many people do you know who are chronically ill? How many people do you know who have depression? Burn out? Cancer? An auto-immune disease? Should we live our lives until we are drained enough to get really sick? And even if we don’t get really sick, is this how we want spend our days, pouring out of an empty glass?
“But I don’t have time!”.
Perhaps self-care sounds unthinkable to you right now. Many of my clients struggle with it. Most people do. This is where health coaching can be extremely useful, as the two go hand in hand. You cannot change your lifestyle and improve your health without changing your mindset and accepting self-care. And if this is such a huge step for you, as it is for many people, you need somebody to help you through it (aka, me, your ally, offering you unconditional support). Together we can figure out what self-care means for you.
I won’t leave you without a couple of simple ideas of self-care:
– Lying down and listening to music with your eyes closed (one song will do)
– Making time to speak to a family member or a friend who really understands you
– Taking a walk and make it a goal to take photos of things that inspire you
– Dancing to your favourite song
– Writing an email to someone you’ve missed and who is far away
– Doing nothing for 5 minutes; and I mean nothing.
See, not everyone needs to do yoga, meditate, or get massages. How about thinking of one way to practice self-care this week that resonates with you?