A couple of weeks ago I wrote about tackling priorities with self-compassion, if you missed it, you can read it here. Right now, one of the most challenging aspects of life that I am finding is ‘self’; time for self, putting myself first and self-care. The biggest of these is putting self-care into practice fully so that I am truly relaxed, regenerated, energized and centered. I have been able to integrate aspects of self-care in my life before - taking five minutes for a coffee, prioritizing sleep and not feeling guilty for the odd indulgent shower or watching TV in the evening.
These things used to be a challenge for me, but now they are simply part of my daily routine. And they’re not delivering the benefits that they used to. What I have not been doing is really extending my self-care to seek maximize the benefits – I have only been skimming around the edges of self-care and have pared it back to the bare minimum. It is something I have been really feeling the effects of in the past week – I have been more tired than usual and not recharging as well with my current plan. Simply put – these actions aren’t enough for me any more.
By its nature, self-care has always been challenging for me. For as long as I can remember, I have been very good at putting everyone else first and as a parent, that is often the default position: children and partner first, self last.
My husband, who works away from home during the week, is home this week on leave. Which means two things; besides time together as a couple and a family, there is now a second set of hands at home and a chance for me to get some time to myself – alone! This is fantastic, but what happens when he heads back to work? How do I create a plan that allows me to gain the benefits I want, and need - even when he is away from home?
Well, the short answer – right now – is that it is going to be trial and error. It will be finding things that I want to try, and a few things that I think will also be beneficial – and giving it a go.
All of this touches on something which is important in every aspect of life: challenging ourselves each day to push the limits of what we are doing. I let my self care routine get mundane, and as a result it’s not delivering the results I need. So, I need to challenge myself to take it to the next level, to really get the most out of my ‘me’ time.
Over the coming weeks I am going to be blogging about self-care culminating in my Self-Care Challenge - so watch this space! In the meantime I’m going to explore what self-care is, what practical ‘things’ can we do in our lives, and finally how to integrate it into daily life. I’d love it if you can join in on this journey, and even share ideas via Instagram or Facebook on what I can try for my self-care experiment.
Not sure of what self-care is? Next week, I am going to explore the concept of self-care, and how it can have a seriously positive impact on our daily lives...