Today the whole unavoidable strangeness that is ‘Valentines Day’ has me thinking.
Most of us will go through every day showing numerous people that we care for them, and that we love them. Whether through an offer of support, a friendly catch up over a panad, a message to check you’re ok, a home-cooked family meal, or an outright declaration of love.
So many of our actions originate through the desire to care for others and the fact that we love without choice.
But something I see way too often is a lack of self-love and self-care. How often do we offer the support and consideration to ourselves that we give to others on a daily basis? And how capable are we of supporting and providing care to others if we aren’t looking after ourselves?
I regularly have customers come to me in pain with something they don’t understand, something that came about completely by coincidence and is now stopping them getting on with normal life. But nearly every time there’s no coincidence, and through open discussion and a bit of self-consideration, most customers have the answers themselves.
I had a customer a while ago who came to me with bad lower back pain – no idea why it had happened. We talked through their work and busy family life and found nothing obvious. But then as conversation went on they mentioned that recently a very close family member had passed away. Not only that, but they’d been caring for them in their last days – which it turned out involved a lot of lifting and carrying.
Basically, they had been too busy caring for everyone else and dealing with everyone else’s needs to realise the heavy demands on them: Physically and emotionally.
I’m not going to bang on too long but in a society where being the busiest person in the room has become a badge of honour and exclaiming how chaotic our lives are has become an art form, I think it’s a bloody important message.
I know that there will be people will children, hectic jobs and a hell of a lot of pressure on them thinking they have no time to think about themselves but remember, if there are people dependent on you for whatever reason, they need and want you to be a healthy and happy person too!
My message to you on this random day where you may feel the pressure to show someone you love them, or maybe feel anxious that you don’t have a partner to post about on social media, is to dedicate some time to self-care.
What does that mean? It could be a 30 minute walk by yourself, or a 10 minute mindfulness practise off YouTube, maybe writing in a diary about how you’re feeling and what might make you feel better, a bath and a facemask, booking a massage (ahem…) or an afternoon nap.
Self-care is doing what makes YOU feel better. What recharges your battery and makes you light up? What have you wished you had time for, for AGES? Because you are worth it (soz L’Oreal) and you will only become a better, healthier, more rounded person by ensuring you make time to look after yourself.
Personally, I have given time to meditation in 2018. It doesn’t take much time and is teaching me methods to handle moments of anxiety and stress and hopefully how to be a better person and better therapist.
Anyway, whatever you’re doing, have a fab day X