The most important thing in your life, is yourself.
Is that hard to hear?
Does that sound selfish?
If so, you need a mindset shift.
And by you, I mean us…. society.
So many of us are feeling exhausted from trying to juggle all the things…. under pressure to do so much and be amazing at it all…. like we only have tiny bits of each aspect of our life together (but none of them fully)…. or like we can’t make ourself a priority, because the people in our lives whom we love take priority over us.
So many of us are ignoring important messages our body is trying to send us, or we’re not tuning into these messages enough, or soon enough. When life is humming along, and we seem to be dealing with everything life throws our way, it’s so easy to think that we are fine. The constant pumping of adrenaline in response to stress will maintain this illusion. Until we finally stop, and it hits us.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
You can not give anything to anyone or anything if you are exhausted, depleted and empty.
You are the most important thing in your life.
It’s time we started thriving rather than merely surviving. It’s time we started being kinder to ourselves. It’s time we starting simplifying self care for ourselves.
This was the big driver behind our BEND BUBBLES & BESTIES event we held earlier this year at The Little Zen Den with Guided Heart Movement, Natalie McGrath Naturopath and The Wanderlust Age. Read on to hear my three big take aways from the day.
1. We’re often told to ‘manage stress’, but many of us don’t realise where stress can come from.
Natalie McGrath Naturopath talked to us about stress. Where it can come from, how our bodies respond to it and what can happen to our bodies if we are in a constant state of stress. When we think of stress, we most often think of the stress that comes from dealing with everyday frustrations (ie. work, traffic, relationships, to-do-lists). But what was eye-opening for many to learn was that our bodies stress response can also be triggered by a range of other things, like sleep issues (ie. disrupted sleep or shift work), poor diet choices and low physical activity levels.
How do we know if our bodies are under too much stress? Thats where take away #2 comes in…
2. We’re often told to ‘listen to our body’, but many of us don’t know what we’re listening for.
Is your body trying to get your attention? Do you experience:
- Exhaustion, especially in the afternoon
- Feeling like you can’t live without coffee
- Craving sugar, particularly mid afternoon
- Feeling overwhelmed often
- Brain fog or fussiness
- Finding it hard to go to sleep and stay asleep
- Overreacting easily even if you don’t display it outwardly
- Having problems with your periods (ie. heavy, clotty, irregular, PMS)
- Finding it hard to lose weight (especially around the abdomen)
- Poor short-term memory
- Digestive issues (ie. bloating or IBS) often
- High blood pressure of palpitations
- Feeling anxious or depression
- No libido or desire for sex
Listening to these kinds of messages when they are merely whispers, rather than waiting for them to all scream at once (which they have been known to do) is the key! This might require making a habit of checking in with yourself regularly. Keeping a journal can be a helpful tool to do this (ie. Track how you’re feeling, coping or responding, and/or, track your food, drink and exercise habits. You’re more likely to notice ‘whispers’ when you’ve been writing them down).
3. We’re often told to practice self care, but many of us don’t understand how to do this.
Darielle from The Wanderlust Age spoke to us about the importance of self care and being kind to ourselves. She highlighted that self care doesn’t need to be complicated, time consuming or expensive. It can actually be simple. Really simple. A 5 minute walk during your lunch break. A cup of tea on the verandah when you wake. Stopping to watch the sunset. Taking a few deep breathes when you’re sitting in a traffic jam. Using a meditation app 5 minutes before bedtime. Saying no to taking on, helping with or attending that ‘extra thing’. Grabbing the phone and calling a friend for a chat. Watching a few funny animal videos for a good laugh.
Self care also encompasses those ‘bigger picture’ physical, mental and emotional health habits we practice. Like, what we eat, how much we move, what we tell ourselves (ie. inner dialogue), how we help ourselves to get as much quality sleep as possible, and more. But let’s get real – health is not about perfection, its about consistency!! Aiming to be perfect with all our health habits is not actually working in our favour, it’s adding to our stress. Having a consistent and proactive approach however, can work in our favour. Especially during those ‘busy times’ we KNOW are coming (I’ve discussed this ‘proactive approach’ in a previous post ‘Nobody Panic…. Christmas is here again‘).