Self care is something that tends to get put at the bottom of the ever expanding ‘to do’ list. That is certainly true for me! I work six days a week relentlessly and just about ‘allow’ myself a day off on Sunday where I generally dash about catching up on chores.
This morning I stumbled across a friend’s blog on Facebook telling of how she had been doing the same. She was mum, wife, mother, daughter, successful business owner and friend. And she had been pushing, working, juggling and generally running on empty for so long that she had recently keeled over with burn out. I was shocked to the core as she is someone I admire as she seemingly has it all, does it all and is monumentally successful.
When you’re a business owner, along with all the other jobs we have accumulated in life, we can easily end up ricocheting from one day to the next without much thought for our own self care. We might allow ourselves a lovely Epsom Salts soak in the bath but then dash to work and devote all our energies to our passion, helping others in whatever form that takes.
Why self care is crucial
The trouble is that if we run at life constantly at full pelt, we risk giving from an empty vessel. If we don’t take time out to switch off and do something else, we can become less able to give to our family, our friends and the people we serve. Burn out is a significant problem for Osteopaths and is something I hear about frequently.
It seems that more than average numbers of Osteopaths suffer with Fibromyalgia and other debilitating physical and emotional conditions and I wonder if that is partly because of a lack of self care added to a highly physical and demanding workload. So many of us love to give to others, to help and to relieve some of the burden which others cope with. In doing that we can sometimes take on some of their stuff and so deplete our own energy. So firm boundaries on our time and energy is very important.
Taking time out in our day is crucial to protecting ourselves from over doing it. I have realised today, after reading my friend’s blog, that I also relentlessly drive myself to work harder, create more new courses, fit in more VIP clients and then whip up a homemade casserole or spinach and ricotta lasagne for tea! Clearly it’s time to redress the balance to ensure that my body doesn’t force me to rest instead.
Taking time out!
Here’s what some are doing to ensure that they take time out for self care:
- Take an extra long lunch to nap, rest or take the dog for a walk
- Diarise sacrosanct time twice a week to go to the gym or physically exercise
- Regularly go horse riding, fishing or play golf
- Schedule in regular long weekends to spend recreational time with family or friends
- Book up holidays in advance to ensure you switch off entirely
- Delegate as much admin, cleaning, accounting etc as possible
- Practice meditation, pilates or yoga
- Get back to nature: visit the beach, the woods or walk barefoot on the grass
- Take extra time out to create a gorgeous and nutritious meal
- Read for enjoyment rather than learning
- Go to the cinema or theatre with loved ones
- Take up a new hobby for pleasure like painting, writing or crocheting
- Don’t forget to visit your Osteopath or go for a massage to take care of yourself too!
In my world if it isn’t in the diary, it just doesn’t happen and so today I am going to schedule in some fun, some exercise and some days out with friends who have seen very little of me over the past few years!
What extra self care activities are you going to plan for yourself over the coming weeks and months?