Self Care, it’s not selfish….
I have not written a post for a while as, last year, I became quite overwhelmed with life in general really. I was extremely busy work-wise (which is great!) but sometimes you get so busy looking after other people, you forget to look after yourself. I just did not feel like Sadie anymore.
I, like many people, try to juggle so many balls sometimes that it is inevitable that you drop one in the end. I was working long days, my job is very physical, as well as trying to fit my own running and cycling in whilst also trying to be a single parent to two teenage boys and keep the house in some sort of order. Something had to give.
So I started feeling like I was struggling and over whelmed. I stopped the running group to start with which gave me a bit more time to spread clients out and also have the odd evening off, which I really needed. I started making time for myself and learning to say ‘Sorry I cant’. I started Pilates every other Monday evening (I work late the other Monday). I started swimming again. I started making time to read, knit, listen to music. I started French classes on Wednesday lunchtimes, something I have wanted to do for ages but never ‘had the time’. I started making time to read self care books and learning ways I could not let things get on top of me. I started making sure I had friend coffee dates lined up every couple of weeks.
We have to make time for these things. They will not just happen. We have to make time to look after ourselves, whatever that looks like to you. To me, it is being still, quiet, learning French which I need to concentrate on so hard that I have no room in my brain for anxious thoughts or worries. I wrote myself a weekly timetable of when I was working with clients, when I was doing admin and when I was ‘off’ (me time). I have stuck to that rigidly since September and it really helps. Being self employed can almost feel like you are always at work, its very hard to switch that off. Giving myself time on my timetable to go for a long run is really important to me. It is my time to switch off and recharge. Being in the fresh air is everything to me, whether is is walking, cycling or running. Its my favourite place.
I absolutely love my job, I love helping people and encouraging them to be healthy and fit and I get an enormous sense of satisfaction when they start loving exercise as much as I do. But, so I learned, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Self care needs to come first. Otherwise you are unable to do the other things you need/want to do.
I have started reading The Self Care Revolution by Suzy Reading. I’m not far into it yet but I really relate to it. She, also is a Personal Trainer and yoga teacher and talks about how she became overwhelmed and needed to do something about it. I think it is helpful to think about things that you need in your life to make you happy and then make sure you get them in some way or other. For me, learning something (French), social contact (my job can sometimes feel quite lonely so its important for me to see friends), exercise (running, cycling, hiking), stillness (in Pilates), conquering something that is difficult (swimming) are all things that make me feel like me.
Since starting self care, my sleep has improved. I used to sometimes be awake for the whole night. And other nights I would only sleep a couple of hours. Lack of sleep makes you so much less able to cope with day to day issues. It can have a knock on effect to everything including diet, work, relationships.
When working with clients I get to know them, we chat about their lives and what they could do to improve things. Health is not just about what you eat or how much you move. It is about you as a whole. Look after yourself, its the only place you have to live.
If you have any tips, experiences or things you have gone through or things that have helped plese feel free to leave a comment. We are in this together! 🙂