Self-Care Sunday Series
With Guest Blogger and Business Woman, Anna from TinyTalk Mid Kent
My name is Anna and I am the face of TinyTalk Mid Kent. I have been running signing classes for babies and toddlers now for 18 months and I absolutely love it. I have always worked in education working with children and families but decided to become my own boss and start an adventure with TinyTalk for this reason… Self-care.
Working in the education sector can be relentless, stressful and all consuming. Of course, so can being self-employed; but I have far more control and my family is once again my priority. I would love to say I have the whole Self-care thing nailed but I do not. I often need to practise what I preach but I am definitely working on it and have come a long way.
I have found that the things I get enjoyment from changes regularly. I do feel better after a run, but equally I absolutely love to spend time weeding and planting up at our allotment (I do indeed feel very middle aged and grown up saying that out loud). Sometimes the pressure I put on myself to fit something in, that is meant to be good for me, actually does the opposite and tips the balance; creating stress.
I have also noticed that through lockdown what I need has changed. Initially I craved company and relied on the video chats with my girlfriends. My friends and I would sit with a drink or two and chat for hours. It was what we needed and even got dressed up and wore lippy to pull ourselves out of the lockdown lazy slump. Currently this isn’t needed and I would actually favour a bubbly bath and listening to my favourite podcasts. Whatever it is, I am trying to recognise in myself where the need is and address it. I think I have learnt to stop, listen and then try to take action.
Another really important element for me is learning to say no! This is not in my nature; I am a people pleaser, a carer, a host. I love to look after others and avoid confrontation at all costs. Except I have learnt that for myself sometimes the only answer is no, self-preservation is so important. I cannot and should not say yes to everything. There are not enough hours in the day. I am motivated and driven and have a clear idea now of what I am capable of but have to prioritise my energies. Being a mum has really taught me this.
As a TinyTalk Teacher I see so many tired and burnt out mums. The support network that we provide is so important. From the new-born fog to the challenges of a pre-schooler. We enable our class families to share, offload, celebrate, cry… whatever is needed; in a safe and non-judgemental environment. In physical classes this is with a cuppa and a biscuit but online our community and support elements are still going strong. Friendships are made at TinyTalk classes. We are there to remind them that asking for help is okay and not at all selfish, in fact it is necessary. It takes a village they say, and we help mums to find their tribe.
In class we are giving families a special time to bond with their babies and toddlers. Time to stop and focus on themselves and their little ones. We are all trying to juggle and multi-task but the enjoyment from a focused activity, learning to communicate with and have fun with your little ones is priceless. So many of our families say that it is the highlight of their week, something to look forward to.
I feel very privileged to be a part of so many family’s lives, part of their journey in those early years. I am honoured that my class mums feel that they can confide in me, they see me as a different ear to listen to them, one step removed and totally non-judgemental.
Self-care is vital, it is difficult at times but we have to make the time and space in our lives.
TinyTalk Mid Kent runs classes in the Maidstone and Sittingbourne area’s but are currently online.
Lots of fun summer classes coming up if anyone would like to join us.
Over the next few weeks Abundance TEC will be featuring guest bloggers on our website and social media platforms to support Self-Care Sunday.
The aim is to raise awareness as to why self-care is so important and to highlight a variety of ways you can implement self-care into your everyday routine to support positive mental health and well-being.These inspiring business owners and bloggers will be providing their own version of what self-care means to them and why they do what they do to look after themselves.
Thank you to the wonderful Anna for sharing her self-care tips, journey and passion this week.
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