Looking after yourself might seem like a selfish thing to do or attitude to have, but if you don’t, how can you look after or support anyone else and you may even find you suffer from symptoms like these:
• Constantly tired, have disturbed sleep; never wake up before the alarm goes off.
• Crave substances like coffee, chocolate, sweets, alcohol, and nicotine.
• Irritability and angry outbursts with loved ones.
• Find it hard to switch off, focus or concentrate on anything for longer than 10 minutes.
• Often late and mislay things.
• Hide from people or problems; lose yourself in TV, Computers, internet games, rather than doing them for simple enjoyment.
• Make yourself the last priority.
• Shop too much and make excuses for it by telling yourself “I am worth it” or “I deserve it.”
• Forget birthdays, anniversaries and invitations.
• Feel guilty relaxing. Only do what is expected of you and not what you want to do.
Think of your body like the car that you drive regularly and depend on. You have to put fuel in the car, you have to top up all levels like water, oil, screen wash, brake fluid, put air in the tyres. You have to take it to the car wash or clean it yourself to keep it looking good. You have to take it to be serviced and MOT’d in order for it to be maintained to its optimal level and never breakdown when you want to go somewhere for pleasure or work.
Your body is much the same. You have to eat, drink, go for regular health checks, exercise, wash, have a shower or take a bath, socialise, rest, dress to make yourself look presentable and maintain your mental health.
Why not start by making a conscience effort to look at what you are doing to yourself. This simple CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) technique often surprises people when I ask them to do it.
Take a sheet of paper and a pen and simply draw a line down the centre of the page. Then head each column with Nourish on one side and Deplete on the other.
Now make lists of things you do to nourish you and things you do or experience that deplete you. Once you see the results which are usually more on the depleting side, you realise the imbalance and can start to make changes.
Think outside the box when it comes to nourishing you. Ask yourself what simple things give you pleasure? Things you have forgotten to do or made time to do them. Small changes can make a huge difference even it is only done for 10 minutes a day. Being or doing things that make you happy should become an essential part of your daily routine; see it like maintaining your car. It should become as natural as eating and drinking.
By focusing on you for a short amount of time, you will become happier, more relaxed, more focused to get other things done, and you should develop a greater pleasure in living life to the full. Family and loved ones will notice the change in you and you might even be more productive at work.
Start taking responsibility for nourishing YOU it’s learning to treat yourself well and bring joy and happiness within.