What Self Care looks like in my life right now
Self care at itâs best is something that shifts based on what we need depending on what life is presenting us at any given time.
This year Iâve felt quite a big shift. On one hand Iâm definitely more accepting of myself, but on the other hand Iâve noticed a few negative things ramping up – anxiety, stress and changes in mood and productivity linked with my monthly cycle.
Iâve noticed that I have way less mental headspace because of those things (hence the lack of blog posts lately!), and it then becomes a vicious circle when it comes to applying self care to help with them. Add in a run of niggling illnesses, neck and back pain and I’ve had a couple of months of feeling pretty sorry for myself!
Itâs been humbling seeing how I can go from really feeling like Iâve got my shit together to feeling crap – but thatâs life, itâs how you deal with what gets thrown at you that counts! And I have to add that Iâve had quite a lot of resistance at even sharing this – as someone who coaches and supports others around their self care thereâs always a feeling that you should have it perfectly put together. But what Iâm realising is that you so often teach what it is you need to learn yourself, and if anything, going through these experiences makes me more able to empathise with others going through the same thing.
Plus, when I really looked at things, there were some acts of self care I was really proud of. Calling my Mam for help, phoning the Doctors so I wasn’t anxious all weekend, calling a friend when I really needed to talk.
So, what does my self care look like with this in mind?
I sat down and wrote myself a list of all the niggling things I wanted to work on when it came to my self care (the question I always ask myself is âwhatâs not workingâ) – and it was quite a list! Everything from my pelvic floor and core strength to headaches to getting on top of life admin I was finding overwhelming. I used my trusty Google Keep to list all these things out of course!
One of the things that came out of that process was something Iâve called my self care triangle:
I realised that I couldnât focus on all of those things I listed at once, but I needed to start with no more than three of the things that have the biggest impact and greatest knock on effect. For me, thatâs sleep, healthy eating in an 80/20 style and movement. I know from experience that when Iâve got a handle on those things everything else becomes easier – it breaks the vicious circle of having no energy to be motivated to tackle life admin things, it gives me more head space to be productive, it means Iâm more likely to stick at other habits.
Seeing these things as what makes up my triangle is a very simple and basic thing, but itâs flicked a switch in my head. Suddenly I really âgetâ how important these are for me personally – Iâve connected the dots in a new way I suppose!
So while Iâm focusing on those things primarily, Iâm also taking a look at a couple of things that seem linked – stress and a bit of a funky menstrual cycle with increased anxiety and tender breasts in the week before my period.
The stress has been work related, as the brand design and website aspects of my business have really boomed (which is awesome!), Iâve become more and more busy because I always put 110% into any work I do for a client. Iâve had to take a step back, put a limit on how many of these projects I do at once (Iâve created over 6 websites since September) restructure how I do that work and really take a look at my boundaries and working practices.
Plus, I had an overwhelming about of life admin tasks – you know, all that extra emotional labour women tend to do like having to book dentist appointments, sort out mortgage documents, arrange this and that. Iâve asked for help, and as I type this Iâm sitting on the sofa watching Star Wars while Finley is in nursery for an extra day – I recognised I just needed an additional day this week to get organised, write this post (which is also therapeutic for me!) and have a bit of time to myself.
Iâm also looking into getting regular head massages to ease the tension in my neck and shoulders, practice more mindfulness and meditation and above all – rest when I need to rest. This is probably the hardest thing to do!
So thatâs what self care looks like for me at the moment. Undoubtedly it will shift and change because #seasonalselfcare but I just wanted to share that story!
Can anyone else relate? What does self care mean to you?