Self care is something that gets bandied around often but what does that actually mean particularly when you are sitting on the challenging end of the wellbeing spectrum.
Ideally it becomes what you do every day – you know that its beneficial to eat well, move your body, do something for your mind but it can be completely overwhelming and the first thing to go when stuff hits the fan. A vicious cycle of you need to do such and such to feel better but only if you felt better you could do such and such.
There can be a bombardment of what you ‘should’ do but often this ends in feeling helpless, inadequate and full of shame when completing a full list of tasks is actually out of reach due to poor mental health. First and fore most it’s about working out what works for you in the moment – asking yourself what do I need right now?
Sometimes you can get through the whole list of strategies but other times it’s a case of doing one thing to get through the day.
The list of how to managing wellbeing can be really long but I want keep it simple as sometimes we get frozen in overcomplicating things and become stuck. it’s not always about pampering or special things (although they are nice), take some time to ponder what works for you in managing your wellbeing and how these themes/concepts relate to you, then go do that!
Do you have an unconditional space where you can offload and explore exactly what is happening for you? Even as someone that has the skills and holds deep space for others, I can’t do that for myself – it is so so important to have space for you to ponder connect, reflect and work though life. While family and friends can be great – they also can get in your way as they rescue, protect, project and bring up history that may not be that useful. Wouldn’t it be great to have ‘maintenance’ check ups with a therapist so that you aren’t out in the wilderness when crisis hits. Having a safe trusted space is the best thing to work through stuff – it can take a while to find the right fit so shop around and don’t be put off if the first person you come across is not working for you.
NOURISH – this is not just about eating good food although that is important too. It is about considering what you consume, the people that you surround yourself with, doing things that give to your life rather than being filled with ‘have to’s’, obligation, burden or dread. Do the things that light a spark, take notice of what floats your boat make it a priority and do more of that unapologetically.
One of the best connections you can make is to yourself and what you need. Getting some time to reflect and connect to what is going on in your life adds to your wellbeing – whether it be mediating, having a good think, tapping into your felt sense or journaling, time to reflect, ponder and consider what you need is important. It doesn’t stop there though, we are born to connect with others so why not make it with people that you actually enjoy being with – those that have you feeling good about being alive, that connect with you, bring curiosity, you have fun with and you feel part of something.
OUTSOURCE – you hear this in business all the time but how often do you do it in your own life. Are there some things that you don’t have to actually do yourself and the pressure will be released by delegating or accepting help. Is it a case of having a cleaner so that at least once a week or fortnight you have everything in order and clean – not matter how long that lasts! Maybe its getting pre made meals as the thought of going round the supermarket and deciding what to cook is too much. Is it getting a gardener to literally and metaphorically take the weeds away. I am sure you get my drift.
BE RATHER THAN DO–
How often do you feel guilty for doing ‘nothing’ or doing something that you enjoy when there is a massive list of things to do. Often you are ‘on’ all the time and need some time to be rather than be busy, busy busy all the time. There is a myriad of things that you can do to feel good and sometimes it’s just about being in the moment, letting the rest of the world go on hold for a while so you can recharge. Play sport, get in nature, be creative, listen to music, meditate, take notice of the wonderous things in life, play, connect, go outside, be creative, laugh, escape in a book or movie, watch the sunset, get a massage – what ever it is, it is important that you put busy on hold so that you can fill your wellness cup up.
What do you do with all if this?
Consider what works for you – what are the things that have you feeling better, that have you being in life rather than an observer, the things that balance out your challenges and have you work through your mental health rather than have it bottle up and explode or withdraw completely. Wellness is ongoing in your life and no matter where you are on the wellness wheel of life consider what works for you and do more of that.