Self-Care Sunday: Why is it a feature and what is so important about self-care anyway?
If you follow @abundancetec, you will most certainly have seen that every week on my social media pages I always advocate self-care Sunday. It is a time where I share ideas for how to look after yourself and encourage clients and followers to just allow themselves some time to take deliberate care of themselves. To really make themselves a priority, to learn to love themselves and value and appreciate who they are and what they have to offer to the world.
So why is it so important to me and why do I advocate it so much as a therapist? Self-care for me is all about preservation. It is to prevent emotional and physical burn-out and to take control of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions and behaviours. I remember being so busy and feeling so overwhelmed with life many years ago I literally felt like people were watching me burn-out. I felt alight from the inside and knew the only person that could tame the flames was me. I continue to learn the art of self-care as I grow and have developed a deeper understanding as to why it is so essential.
You see I have been the Mum that has worked 70 to 100-hour weeks. I have worked every hour possible at the cost of my own health. I have battled a range of ill health over the years and through the struggles I have endured I have learned to ensure I look after me before I can be helpful to my family, friends, and clients. I now take my own advice and practise what I preach daily!
I want to be an inspirational therapist, educator, coach and leader. The dream is to empower others and to work with as many individuals and organisations as I can. The aim is to create a culture of prosperity, self-belief, self-worth, and resilience. I have to practise self-care and have self-worth, self-belief and resilience first, before I can help others. Life will always come with obstacles and challenges, but managing your own emotions and feelings and looking after yourself is essential.
What is self-care?
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately, to actively ensure we are taking care of our mental and physical health and overall well-being. It is unique to us as individuals and we may all need to practise self-care in different ways, to suit our own needs at any one moment in time.
Self-care is not selfish.
Self-care is not about taking away from others.
Self-care is essential, liberating and beautiful.
Self-care can help reduce stress, reduce anxiety and remove self-limiting beliefs to name a few.
Self-care for me in its truest form is finding my inner child, allowing time for creativity and play. It’s letting the nomadic part of me come alive that laughs until she cries, is fun and mischievous. It’s letting the little girl with the chubby cheeks and curly blonde locks in pigtails come forward and embrace life at its fullest. It’s enjoying the adventures of life without a care in the world (even just for a moment). It’s using my imagination. It is allowing my thoughts to flow, feeling empowered and taking time to reflect.
So how do I do it?
Self-care for me is not one thing. It is variation and finding enjoyment in multiple outlets.
It is taking time to journal my thoughts and plan.
It is writing this blog and finding enjoyment in writing.
It is affirming my beliefs, dreams and wishes, to continue to grow as I support other people.
It is listening to my children belly laugh and laughing with them.
It waking up earlier and having ten minutes of me time to meditate before the day begins.
It is embarking on relaxation, whether through self-hypnosis, getting lost in a book, audio-book or film.
It is taking time to acquire new skills, learn and develop.
It is going for a run and being in the moment whilst listening to some 90s music that my children tell me to turn off in the car. That is liberating and fun.
It is dancing in the kitchen and reminiscing to my youth.
It is sitting with a cup of coffee in my garden listening to the birds sing.
I am a warrior by nature and because this, my natural relentless work ethic, striving to help others and succeed has meant that I have been guilty of burn-out in the past. The art of not burning out and prioritising myself has become part of my everyday lifestyle and is something I advocate and promote for all. I try to ensure every client, every colleague, every student, every family member or friend is mindful of avoiding burn-out.
See we all have experiences that make up our tapestry of life. Learning to love yourself for who you are and taking time for you, enables you to be the best version of yourself and live a more prosperous life.
I was once offered a £60k a year job at a time when I was earning just a fraction of that, but I knew I could not be the person I wanted to be. I realised I could not be the Mum, the wife, the daughter, the sister, the friend, the therapist, the teacher, the businesswoman I wanted to be if I took that job! I knew I needed to look after me and had to invest time into myself to build the dream and own the business I have today. I chose another path as part of my self-care. Saying no can also be part of our own self-care. Knowing I needed to choose another path and prioritise my dreams and take care of myself was what got me here today! The moral of the story is to follow your instincts sometimes and prioritise yourself. It is important to be mindful of what you need and to do what is right for you at that time. I do not look back with regrets at that decision, although the opportunity was amazing and would have come with many perks, it was not right for me at that time. I am grateful for receiving such an amazing offer form a truly inspirational and innovative leader that believed in me, but I am happy to have turned it down and prioritised myself. I would not be where I am today without that being part of my journey. The art of saying no can also be an important part of our self-care journey.
Letting go of negative emotions or beliefs, overcoming trauma or challenges and believing in yourself is all part of the healing process and learning to love yourself for who you are is essential!
Prioritising yourself and taking care of you is not selfish. We cannot pour from an empty cup. If you struggle to give yourself any care but always give to others it can feel exhausting, overwhelming, and draining.
Self-care is not about not giving to other people or not loving other people. You can still give your time and love to others as well as yourself but by looking after you, you can give the best version of you.
Self-care is something no one else can do for you. No one else can prevent you burning out. No one else and nothing else is responsible for your happiness! You are here because you are meant to be. Embrace who you are and fall in love with you, so you can give the best version of you to the world!
Enjoy some self-care today and every day and fall in love with the real you.
Take care, stay safe and much love.
Founder of Abundance Therapy Education Coaching
Over the next few weeks I will be featuring a guest blogger on my website and social media platforms to support Self-Care Sunday.
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. 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.
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