Ok I didn’t actually kill anyone, but if deathly thoughts counted for anything he’d be pushing up daisies right about now….
And it was only partly his fault.
The other part was mine. My self-care routine was knocked out of whack so, instead of re-defining it, I let it slide. So, there I was, with all of life’s usual pressures and dramas, and without my outlet – my safe space and time to unwind and process.
It was not pretty. But I learned from it.
From now on, I will kill FOR my self-care time, not because of the lack of it.
Jokes aside, what I did learn is that, since creating that time for myself, I am so much more able to navigate the peaks and troughs of work and relationships, and without it I’m a little bit at sea. That time is, in the scheme of things, just a few moments, but it works wonders for my wellbeing.
Because I don’t want to be a reactive, dramatic person – most of us have no desire to metaphorically set fire to things in our lives, it just happens!
But we have to take responsibility for that. It’s all very well saying that we’re too busy and too stressed but, if we don’t make change happen, then this is the lot we’ll be stuck with.
No-one is going to rescue us – only we have the power to do that.
For me, it’s all about the swimming. That cool water, the crashing waves, and the weightlessness – it’s the most powerful therapy. And it has to have that purpose; to be solely about mental and emotional wellbeing. It can’t be obliquely about making yourself fitter or thinner, or more social or literate or whatever. All those things are tied to a sense of what society values – not what we intrinsically need to feel centred and well.
And figuring that out can take a bit of time, and a bit of discipline to embed it. But it’s the most worthwhile investment.
Dip your toe into something, anything, and keep on dipping until you find the activity that brings you peace. The activity that makes you feel calm and allows you to process and release the stresses of life. And then lay some firm boundaries, with yourself and everyone else, to ensure that you routinely make it happen.
Because even self-care takes practice. We can’t just snap into our zen because we want to – we have to create the right conditions and learn what works for us, and then do it over and over again until our body and mind recognises this happy place.
Importantly, we have to show the people in our lives that we mean business! Demonstrate commitment to your own wellbeing – lead by example – and there’s more chance that they will respect those boundaries. Take the time to educate those you love on why this is important and how they can support you – not just because of the benefits to the family unit, but because you deserve it in your own right!
And guess what? When you’re actually dealing with your stress, processing your feelings and looking after yourself, alcohol doesn’t get much of a look in!
So, if you ignore everything else I say, please listen to this…
Put down the duster, stop scrolling, pull out your swimmers, your yoga mat or your walking shoes and go take some time that is just for you. It is YOUR time – it does not belong to anyone else, and you need to start claiming it back.
Go get it tiger.
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