I've realised that it's become easy for me to forget to look after myself. The further I get from my drinking days, the more confidently and surely I live life sober, the less time I need to spend on working on it. In fact, I don't need to work on it at all. So, I can end up not spending enough time doing all the things I know will benefit me. Because I don’t need to do them anymore, I’ve neglected them. But the reality is, I could be taking my life and my wellbeing to the next level and not doing them because I need to wean myself off unhealthy habits but doing them because I know that will get me closer to a better version of myself.
Looking after your own needs and keeping your own battery charged isn't just desirable, it's essential. You can be a better parent, a better sibling, a better colleague, a better friend when you're topped up with energy and self-love. You radiate that outwards and give it to others. How we feel about ourselves kind of ripples out to other people too. Have you ever been around someone and ended up absorbing their stress, their misery, their sadness? Wouldn't you rather be the person radiating contentment, energy and calm? Wouldn't you rather be the person that draws other people to them rather than pushing them away?
You can begin to fill up any voids in yourself and start to develop a healthy relationship with yourself by proactively starting to care for yourself. Self-care is more important than anything else. Some people think it's “selfish” or “self-centred” to look after their own needs first, to put themselves first, and that's understandable as that's how a lot of us have been conditioned.
But, when you put on your own oxygen mask before you see to the child, partner, friend or person you're caring for, you give yourself the strength to care for them better. If you were a battery, you'd need to be fully-charged before you could sustainably charge someone else.
It all starts with the kind of self-care that shows your unconscious mind that you're worth caring about.
This image shows 12 simple actions you can take every day to develop a self-care habit.
I've studied this carefully and I really like it because it provides a neat visual picture of what we could be doing every day to nurture and care for ourselves.
When I saw this image this morning, I decided to do something with it. I’m going to look at it each morning and to spend 10 minutes planning how to incorporate each of these 12 actions into my day.
So, today, before I'd even looked at it, I'd already started drinking the water, I'd already done the work out… there are lots of these I'd do anyway without thinking. I gave myself a big hug and complimented myself on my desire to keep learning and keep growing. But, I've realised that I need certain reminders and I need to plan how to incorporate them into my day. Leaving myself to wing it doesn't work.
Today I needed to plan when and how I was going to do the conscious breathing and meditation. I needed to plan how I was going to create meaningful connections and I needed to plan visualising my desired future. I know that I can plan all this and incorporate it into my day in easy ways and all of it together won't take more than 20-30 minutes.
But without the planning, it won't happen.
I like this visual reminder and I know it will benefit with me and I want to share it with you too. Let me know what you think!
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