How's your self-care?
How are you? Really?
Most people when asked that question automatically say 'I'm good thanks, how are you?' without giving it a second thought. There are any number of reasons why we do this - habit, we're in a rush, we're being polite or we're afraid to admit how we're really feeling. Sometimes we have no idea what we're feeling. So let me ask you again - how are you feeling right now, in this very moment (and can you sit with whatever it is)?
I love it when people are honest. I don't need anyone to sugarcoat their reality for me. I'd much rather someone say "I'm crap Claire" than "yeah, I'm great, life's amazing just check my Instagram feed" while they're crying themselves to sleep at night. We're all human and NO-ONE FEELS GOOD ALL THE TIME.
Recently I've had two separate conversations with women who were exhausted and facing burnout. One of them was heading off on retreat and it got me thinking about how, as lovely as retreats are, they're no substitute for healthy habits that we incorporate into our daily lives.
The problem I have with retreats is that unless the underlying cause of the burnout is addressed, we can easily slip back to our old habits the moment we're home. I call this the ‘go-go-go-collapse’ syndrome. I know it well as I lived it for years.
To create real change we need to incorporate better habits into our everyday lives over time. There's no magic pill or smoothie that can replace good sleep, nutritious food, time in nature, relaxation, doing things that bring us joy and two of my personal favourites, healthy boundaries and the ability to say no. "But I'm too busy Claire. I don't have enough time!" I hear people cry. But the truth is we do. We all have an equal amount of time - what matters is how we use it and what we prioritise.
This involves radically respecting our own needs so we can create more of a healthy go-rest-play-go-rest-play cycle so we rarely (if ever) fall into collapse. I meet so many women who feel obligated to take care of others first and at the expense of their own wellbeing. We need to start saying yes to ourselves. This is not selfish and in my own experience as a recovering ‘yes to others’ person, I was far more able to be there for others when I started saying yes to myself first.
So I have a question for you.
What’s one thing you can let go of to make space for 1 thing you can start doing in service of yourself? Notice any discomfort or resistance to this idea. I would love to hear from you - you can comment below, on my facebook page or by sending me an email.
In the meantime, I invite you to join my upcoming 6 week course ‘From Chaos to Calm’ running 6.30-8pm on Tuesdays from 16th July in Hawthorn. We'll explore meditation, mindfulness, relaxation, boundaries and how to create healthier habits for yourself in your daily life. You can read more about the course here . If you know of anyone who might benefit from the course, please share it!
Take good care of yourself always!