I’ve just finished reading a lovely little book, written by the insightful and very public persona, Oprah. You know your famous when you are recognised by your first name, right?
The book is called ‘What I Know For Sure’.
A opening paragraph on one of the chapters states-
“When was the last time you laughed with a friend till your sides hurt or dropped the kids off with family or a sitter and went away for the entire weekend? More to the point, if your life ended tomorrow, what would you regret not doing? If this were the last day of your life, would you spend it the way you’re spending it today?”
I gets you thinking right?
One thing that I know for sure, not only in my coaching practice, but in all my years of hairdressing and the trillions ( yes, trillions!) of conversations with girlfriends, is that as women, we put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. We provide, prioritise and tirelessly strive to make everyone in our lives happy, but often at the expense of ourselves.
DO YOU ALLOW EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE TO BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU?
Have we become so busy that we have forgotten to do things for ourselves, whether that’s having a good hard laugh with a friend or loved one, or taking some time out for a weekend away from our responsibilities just to be and give back to ourselves?
I was chatting with a client recently and asked her what bought her joy. She responded initially by telling me it was her children, marriage, her career, etc. All very noble things, but when I pressed her more about what bought HER joy, what simple things/activities provided just her with rejuvenation and pure happiness to replenish herself, she hesitated and was quiet for a few minutes. Then, she started crying, telling me that she simply couldn’t remember what that was. She was so busy juggling all her balls in the air, making sure she was making everyone else happy and keeping up her ‘perfect’ life and commitments, that she had forgotten just how and what it was, to give back to herself.
The definition of what your life balance looks like, can be different and often difficult to recognise, without first knowing your own needs and which ones are lacking.
What is self care?
Basically, self-care is any activity that you do voluntarily which helps you maintain your physical, mental or emotional health. It can help you feel healthy, relaxed and ready to take on your work and responsibilities.
By allowing ourselves the time for self-care, it restores calm and space in our minds and bodies and then in return gives us more energy, lowers our stress and cortisol levels. It allows us to have the mental space to give to our loved ones without all the noise and clutter that we can often hear in our heads.
I once read that for women in the 21st century, our busy brains are like having too many tabs open on our computers, all at once! So if giving ourselves a little self care can shut down some of these tabs, then this will lesson our response to feelings of overwhelm, snappiness, stress and fatigue.
So do I think self care is a selfish act?….
NO WAY!, it’s simply an act of rejuvenation, self kindness and replenishment that we all need to do for ourselves, to live the life we want, in order to feel energised, happy and contented.
Remember the opening paragraph of Oprah’s Book….
“If your life ended tomorrow, what would you regret not doing? If this were the last day of your life, would you spend it the way you’re spending it today?”
So after reading this book and thinking about this very question, I organised a little mini long weekend escape, just me and Hubby. Now, I’m in the midst of organising a vey low key family vacation in a couple of months time ( there will be a day spa involved just for me!). Yes there are many other little things I can and will do between now and then, to give back to myself, but we all have to start somewhere and this is something I will never regret!
Ask yourself that question…..“If your life ended tomorrow, what would you regret not doing?
So go on, book that weekend away….. take a long, long bath, light some candles and lock the bathroom door….say no to the kids and just be this weekend…whatever this looks like for you, just commit to you and your need for some self care!