If you read any woman’s magazine there will be at least one segment on how to take care of yourself, your mental well-being, give yourself a well-meaning rest/treat. Most talk about pampering sessions, many invariably involve food/wine. Some talk about ‘down-time’. Others talk of getting back the ‘work/life’ balance. They are all in some way or another about gratification.
But you know what? Some days a bubble bath and candles just won’t cut it! Self – care is grunt work. It’s looking yourself in the mirror and psyching yourself up to make things better.
What I have discovered by working with thousands of people over the past few years – all looking to live and work in their element is this….. ‘It’ – (self-care), doesn’t come from any of the above!
It comes from eating the frog early. It comes from getting ‘ugly’ as quick as you possibly can. It comes from a place of un-paralled honesty and transparency. It is supported by people who want to empower not enable you. It comes from facing your deepest fear head on, and staying in action until you have some traction on it.
Not having enough. Not having it at the right time. Owing other people too much. Feeling guilt about what you can’t achieve. Losing sleep over it.
The biggest favour you can do yourself about money it to get real with it. Sort out those piles of bills and make a list. See who is shouting the loudest to be paid. See who needs it the most. See which will lead to legal action the quickest. See who will wait, defer, holiday your payments. Be bold and courageous and ring them all. State your case without veering into victim mode, just stick to the facts, be prepared to listen and see it from their side and then offer options to deliver on the payment of their good service to you.
Need more money? Be temporarily prepared at least to earn more or spend less – whatever that takes! The peace of mind will be so worth it.
No-brainer really. If you don’t have time or money you are less likely to eat healthily and exercise, and if you don’t eat healthily and exercise you slow your body and responses down, so you stay IN action less – IN-power yourself less often. Whatever you are doing instead of not being prepared for the next days breakfast, lunch or dinner (like watching mindless TV every night) stop it. Shop on your way home even if tired. You will eat healthier and spend less on eating out if you are prepared. Not a fan of exercise (me neither) so it has to be something I love – and that for me is being in water every day – aqua, lake swim, ocean swim, water walking group. If it isn’t fun, and it doesn’t make you happy you won’t keep it up.
Of people – people you are dating, partners, friends, that don’t make you happy. That you’ve tried to ‘fix’ and they still make you feel worse when you leave than when you arrive. There is NO excuse you could make to yourself for keeping toxic people around in your life. Mis-guided loyalty and guilt keep you hitched to a wagon that is going nowhere. Break free and seek out people that have your back, speak honestly and respectfully to you at all times, and genuinely want the best for you.
Of stuff. Stuff needs money, maintenance, insuring, fixing, storing. Whether the stuff is taking up real or cyber space there is always something to go. Reduce your stuff and free up time and money instantly.
Of the ‘right’ thing to do. Women especially have the monopoly on self-depreciating acts. We chew through our freewill time like it is a bottomless pit without drawing breath to even think about saying “No.” About saying,”Does it have to be me/right now?” “How could YOU fix that?”
Of a job that you hate – it’s 40 years of your life. 40 FFS! What will it take for you to be in a job you love, with people that you admire?
Because you just might be perfect exactly the way you are. Who tells you what’s right or wrong? The media. ‘Well meaning’ friends and partners. Society. Your family. Your boss.
Give yourself a break already. Stop trying to be everything to everybody. Stop trying to be what others tell you you should be. Chose what is right for you, over what ‘looks good’. Choose what feels good to you.
Have goals by all means, but don’t judge yourself by other people’s standards, and don’t allow them to judge you by theirs. Choose you first – ALWAYS! I will never recant my thoughts on this from my first book Live and Work in your Element, “If you don’t manufacture the life you want. Live the life you want. Live and work in your Element. What everyone else gets is always going to be a lesser version of you.
Do I mean ahead of partners and children too? Absolutely! You are not with the right partner if they don’t want the best for you and for you to be fulfilled in your life. Your children will not grow up spectacular if they don’t see you aiming for a life you want. The message they receive is enablement instead of empowerment. There is a line – so fine it is the depth of a chiffon scarf. On one side is your innate desire and need to provide for and nurture those you love. It is not a great divide between one side and the other, it is merely a moment, a breath while you ask yourself “what about me?” That is self-care.
Good Luck. I’ll be cheering you on and hoping that you can have it all and get the bath and candles too.
Live and work in your Element. Space Clearing and Minimalism. Communication that Couples Understand. Communication that Kids Understand. Are all available in e-book form in the shop.
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