Time for Well Being, Time for You
It’s all so easy to put others ahead of ourselves. Especially if we are a working mum. Our lives feel a continual loop of work, cooking, sorting the house, running errands, being a taxi driver. And on and on. This treadmill can take its toll on our well-being as our tiredness increases and feelings of overwhelm become ever more persistent.
I’ve seen this over and over again in clients, particularly those that have perfectionist tendencies. The need to do everything to such a high standard, a feeling of never being satisfied and if you tie that in with people pleasing then you are in trouble!
Our personal well-being goes right down the list. It’s only with conscious practice that you can regain that balance, put things back into perspective and start to feel yourself once more. There are more than a few things to consider when we dive deep into our personal well-being. The first is that we are all unique! No, surely not… And therefore there is no one route or magic answer. It’s a matter of picking and choosing the support and interventions that best work for you.
Some time ago, I took part in a heart monitor reporting tool. It required me wearing a heart monitor for 3 days and tracked my heart rate variability. It looked specifically at what gave me energy during the day (I also tracked with a paper diary) and what took energy away, my sleep pattern and overall replenishment. It was a fantastic insight. The nights I thought I’d slept well my body hardly recovered. I was running on adrenaline. It was no wonder I felt so tired all the time.
And then, being pre-menopausal, I started getting a racing heart and heart palpitations through the night. To be quite honest, it was hideous. There were a few nights I thought my time was up!
These two incidents, made me completely rethink my physical well-being and how I was going to build my resilience. I looked at my well-being through different categories. These are the ones that I focus on daily and weekly:
- Downtime / Relaxation
- Alternative Therapies
Now, don’t get me wrong. I did not master these overnight! And I am still working building my understanding and insight. But what this conscious practice has done is to give me the evidence that I had to make my well-being a priority. I’ll share some of the things I’m doing and hope it might inspire you to make your well-being a priority too.
With exercise, I was running for a while and even managed, a few years ago, to complete a 10k. But as a sufferer of plantar fasciitis, I’ve had to stop running. Last September, I decided to join a gym last and am still an active member going 3 times a week. I’ve really enjoyed the work outs – and now miss it if I don’t get to go. I’ve had a couple of personal training sessions which have helped me to find a routine that I actually enjoy!
This year I’ve been working with an ‘Integrated Health Coach’ and it’s been really insightful. I’ve lost a little weight but perhaps more importantly gained much more energy. I’ve started to unpick the foods that are good for me and those I need to avoid. I eat less and I don’t eat quite as quickly! I have a million and one health cooking books on the shelf and spend a fortune on almond butter and blueberries. This is one area I’m really enjoying finding out about the body / well-being connection.
Now this is a biggie for me. Especially with the heart palpitations and being a coffee drinker. Dehydration is something I suffer from. I now have 2 water bottles and ensure I drink them both during the day. I start the day with a glass of water and when I remember I have a glass of water before every meal too. I genuinely feel much more energised when I’m hydrated…. And when a headache starts to appear or I feel sluggish, it’s more times than not because I’ve not drunk enough water.
Downtime / Relaxation
Not an easy one this one. I love being busy. But I have reduced my tv time to about 3 hours a week, which 20 years ago would have been a daily amount I’d have watched. I tend to be out and about with friends or family, I love reading and in the summer I’ll be out walking. I find one of the biggest needs I have is for ‘me time’ and I create at least an hour in my day for that. Having brought our gorgeous working cocker spaniel – Buddy – into our lives has also really helped.
I’m a big fan of alternative therapies. A lot of illness in our bodies is due to emotional dis-connection and not being aligned. I’ve tried a few different approaches. The two that have had the best impact on me have been Acupuncture – practically cured my migraines – and EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique, which has helped with shifting limiting belief patterns too.
And this weekend, I’ve treated myself to a well-being retreat. I’ve not been on one before and looking forward to spending time on the coast, doing yoga (that will be fun as I’m a novice), meditation and that all important ‘me time’.
Why not spend a little time today working through your well-being agenda? What would your categories be and what can you do to take proactive action today?
As always, I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts.