Feels like ages since my last blog post! I have been busy these last couple of weeks, in recovery from my latest operation and in the middle of exam season in college.
I am back now and full of some great ideas to share with you all. If there is anything regarding mindfulness meditation, or person centred counselling that you would like to find out more about please send me a message and let’s get a conversation going. My email is: email@example.com and my Facebook page is at the bottom of my blog site.
This week I’ve noticed that the theme of self-care is coming up again and again, both for my clients and myself. Self-care is something that I am committed to developing in my own life as a counsellor and mindfulness practitioner and I am also committed to sharing this knowledge and experience with my clients.
A great question for self care is where on earth do I start?
When as a busy person in this hectic modern day world where we are often forced to multi-task, work through our lunch break, work longer and longer hours in order to earn enough money to pay the bills, and in my case and many of my friends case, raising a family whilst working and studying – the demands and the to-do lists can be endless. You may find yourself and your needs at the bottom of the pile. Finding the time to practice self-care can seem impossible
In my experience going through life in this frantic way can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Leading to physical illness, increased pain and symptoms if you have a chronic illness already, burnout and even mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. All of this can negatively impact on your working life and relationships.
A really good place to start when first thinking about self care can be looking at the self-care wheel:
As you can see the self-care wheel is broken down into a number of segments, professional, physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and personal. What I try to do, and this may or may not work for you, is to focus on a particular segment of the wheel at a time. You could try this maybe over a week, or even a month, whatever you find works best for you, as self-care practices are a very individual thing. Then, take time to reflect on your progress in this area before looking at the next segment on the wheel.
It really can help you to reconnect with yourself and the joys that are all around us in life, however small these may be!
Physical and emotional self care have been really high on my agenda over the past couple of weeks. Here are some of the self-care practices that I have been indulging in:
- Having enough sleep
This has been vital to my recovery from my operation. The following pillow that I found in Costco today is likely to be very helpful with this! It is a full body pillow, which when I am in pain is likely to help bring me comfort and hopefully alleviate some pain.
- Having regular massages
I have really spoilt myself and had two massages this week! One, a massage to help alleviate tension in my neck and shoulders after my jaw operation and one, as a treat for getting through my course exam this week.
Usually, I aim for a massage once a month. To aid with physical and mental relaxation and to get some all important “me” time. I highly recommend it. I would suggest finding some-one that you feel comfortable with, as trusting someone to massage your body, especially if it is a body that hurts, can be a massive challenge.
- Finding a hobby
A new hobby can provide a much needed outlet from a busy schedule. For me I have just taken up ice-skating lessons with my daughter. Torvill and Dean were my childhood idols and ice-skating used to be an activity that I really enjoyed as a child. Reconnecting with this hobby and hopefully passing this onto my daughter has been really exciting and is something that I hope to continue.
The beauty of a hobby is that it could be absolutely anything! Anything that excites you. It could be learning a new skill, playing a sport, going to the gym, or to a yoga class, volunteering for a charity, making time to read your favourite book, or magazine, the list is endless…
My favourite magazine is Psychologies:
What might you like to do during 2018? Please share if you’d like, it would be great to hear from you and to share some ideas so that we can inspire each other! 🙂
- Food and diet
This final area is a work in progress for me, but I believe a healthy diet is essential to keep your energy levels up and to contribute to optimum mental and physical health. I know that with chronic pain, or other long-term health conditions, nausea can be a real barrier to eating healthily. Eating little and often throughout the day I’ve found is a good way to manage this, as well as taking pain relief medication on a regular schedule.
I have been exploring recently the idea of food supplements and which ones may be beneficial for chronic pain and exhaustion.
I am going to do a separate blog post on this, but two supplements that I’ve found to be really helpful are Vitamin B complex and Turmeric.
I’ve heard from a lot of different sources that Turmeric can be a really useful supplement in helping to treat inflammation.
That’s all for today.
Hope you have a good week,