This is a short article and a reminder of the importance of self-care. We all have so many expectations of ourselves in a day, and it can become difficult to take care of the basics.
Right now, I would like you to take a step back and take a close look at your self-care. Pretend that you are watching from a distance. Are you eating regular meals? Do you nourish your body? Do you allow yourself to take breaks? Do you give yourself enough time to sleep? Do you move your body every day? Is there time to focus on what you love? I know these are all basic things, and I also recognize how difficult it can be to keep all areas in balance. This is especially written for those of you who are working too hard at the office, and also for those of you at home with children, who tend to put your own needs behind everyone else.
It’s interesting how we would never expect someone else to do what we expect of ourselves. For example, I have been hiring an office manager for the clinic, and recognized that I would never expect someone else to work the hours that I do, to eat lunch so late, and to go for so long without a break. It’s not that I think I can do more than someone else, it’s just that I also forget to look at my own needs, and expect things that are unreasonable from my body. I also see many women at home with their children who forget to feed themselves breakfast and lunch, while taking excellent care of their children’s needs.
It’s time for some self-compassion. Think of yourself as someone who you love and cherish. How would you plan her day? Would you pack a nourishing lunch and two healthy snacks? Would you encourage her to take a break and get some fresh air at lunch time? Would you make sure she was home in time to enjoy her family or downtime at the end of the day?
I see this pattern in almost everyone. We’ve forgotten self-compassion. And by saying this, I do not mean that it isn’t important to push yourself, or challenge yourself. Instead, as you go through your day, simply ensure that your basic needs are met.
Our bodies start to protest when these basic needs aren’t met. Digestive disorders from poor nutrition and eating lunch at our desks. Sore muscles in the neck and shoulders. Headaches and back pain from sitting for too many hours. Low energy, caffeine cravings, and weight struggles from eating irregularly. And all of these small things add to the load of stresses on our bodies, and if ignored for many years will create chronic illness. If you are currently unwell, your body can’t possibly heal if you don’t take care of yourself.
So for this week, can you take a gentle look at your typical busy day. Start by packing yourself a nourishing meal, take a break to see the sunshine mid-day, and get to bed early enough to ensure a full night’s sleep. Your body will thank you!