Have you heard? Self-care is the way to grow. But what are your thoughts on it? Do you believe that a little bit of self-care is a crucial part of survival – or do you think it’s for those who don’t have any backbone and is really just an excuse for self-indulgent hobbies?
Personally, I love a little bit of self-care and preach about it to anybody I work with, whether you’re a parent, a child or a professional working with families. We need to fill our buckets enough that when life takes something away, we still have something in there!
For me, it’s a crucial part of my day to day life and I find time to fit in a little bit of self-care every day – even if it’s just for 10 minutes. After all, if I don’t look after myself, how the heck am I going to look after my family, my businesses and, of course, my clients? So, what is self-care? And if I’m suggesting you must fit it in somewhere, doesn’t it start to become a bit of a chore? What’s the point of a little of self-care if it becomes a chore and therefore, not enjoyable; preventing the very thing I’m trying to encourage – self-growth.
For me, self-care can be anything at all that you want it to be. When I suggest it to my clients, I’m not advising that they join a yoga class or meditation group. It’s not about finding an activity that “relaxes” you; it’s about finding an activity that you enjoy; that you want to do.
Personally, for me, I couldn’t think of anything less appealing then joining a meditation group. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it – if you enjoy meditating, then great. But for me, it becomes incredibly stressful as I try to force myself into something I really struggle with! And if I’m struggling, where’s the growth – where’s the self-care?
So, my top tip for self-care – find something you enjoy; it might be a walk, it might be meeting a friend for coffee, it might be spending time on a hobby or it might be meditating! And for me, what do I do? Sometimes I run; sometimes I just pick up a book and spend time reading it – and sometimes, I can get that “feel good” factor just by spending time looking at old photographs. And, sometimes I do something a little more extravagant.
Today, (and this is the activity that inspired this piece of writing) I had a fantastic aromatherapy massage with the lovely Katy Hinton at Facial Attraction (www.facialattractionbeauty.co.uk). I allowed myself to just totally relax into the massage (apologies if I started snoring Katy!) and just enjoy the time I was giving to myself.
Was I being self-indulgent? Yep, maybe I was – but having the massage enabled me to check out of the daily humdrum of life, meaning that when I re-joined it an hour later, I was more ready, more tolerant and more giving because I had believed myself to be important enough to invest in me. But, in respect of self-care, whatever I do, I do it for me, because I enjoy it. I am putting the stresses of family and business to one side, just for a (short) period of time – a bit like pressing a pause button. Because if I am looking after me and making sure I am well, then I can support all the other important people who come into my life – including YOU!