As an incredibly hard worker and someone who always did the “right thing” I really had to reconstruct how I was living my life after I burnt myself out completely in my previous career.
I had very limited self-care practices in place. And the ones that I did, still involved other people taking some of the responsibility. (Like friends being available to relax after work with me or join me for a walk).
I now coach big-hearted, ambitious women, on the road to burn out on how to break up with the cycle of busy (and still achieve all that they want), and I see such similar patterns as what I experienced.
When we’re stressed and overwhelmed often it can stem from us placing too much emphasis on what others’ think and what we “should” do based on their expectations.
For me, that meant I became almost nervous to rely on my own opinion, or to even spend a few moments in quiet by myself.
My own self-care practice first and foremost has been about valuing this time alone, to really get to know myself.
When I create space in my days to be alone, to sit with my own thoughts, or to prioritise doing something I really want to do, that gives me so much more capacity to handle stressful moments, or challenges at work.
One way I do this in practice is to take myself on coffee dates (most days). I take my book, my notebooks to journal, or simply sit in silence. I love the ambience of cosy cafes, so that always fills me with joy. Plus, it’s helped me develop a muscle of prioritising myself first.
There are so many different ways to engage in “self-care”, most importantly whatever it is you’re doing it has to make sense for you. And, it has to feel nourishing and nurturing.
Sometimes that could be as simple as taking a 5 minute break to get a glass of water. Other times that might equal a weekend away by the beach.
I like to close my eyes sometimes, take a deep breath in and out, and then simply ask myself:
What is it you most need right now?
If you’re not sure where to start, start here. Closing your eyes and asking yourself. You could just be surprised at what answers come up. And maybe even notice that you’ve known all along what you really need most.
Help a loved one in your life express herself today by sharing this post with them.