Are You Looking After Yourself? If You Don’t, Who Will?
Sometimes we’re juggling so many different hats that we lose sight of our own wellbeing. There are many aspects of ourselves that we tend to neglect, but need to focus on, to create balance and happiness in our lives. How are you doing in the following areas?
When was the last time you had a general health check? Do you have aches and pains that have not been seen to? What about that dental check-up? What exercise do you do? Rushing around stressed is not healthy exercise. Are you having meals regularly, and are you eating healthful foods? Do you sleep well?
To improve your physical wellbeing consider doing things like gentle deep breathing exercises for 5 minutes twice a day, 30-minute walks (3 times/week), Tai Chi, Pilates, dance etc., and getting enough sleep. All will help to de-stress and allow the physical body to serve you better.
Do you stop to notice how you are feeling? Are you holding on to resentment or anger? Do you have anger outbursts? Do you make time to discuss how you’re feeling with others? Do you have crying bouts for no apparent reason, or for good reason? Maybe you’re feeling lonely or isolated, anxious or depressed, and not knowing how to feel good again.
Many people don’t know how to identify their feelings and don’t know what to do when they’re feeling out of sorts. They can blame others for their own unhappiness. The people around them may notice moodiness, aloofness or agitation, and may wonder what is going on.
Learning to identify and express your emotions in a non-threatening way is imperative to your wellbeing. Ignoring your emotions sets you up for unhappiness, as anxiety, depression, resentment or anger build within. Symptoms of over-eating, under-eating, alcohol or drug misuse, dependency or physical illness can start to manifest.
So take the time to notice how you feel regularly. If it’s an uncomfortable emotion that you’d like to shift, explore what you can change to make a difference. If you’re struggling to move the discomfort on your own, or after talking to others, then seek support from a counsellor. They’re specialists in developing emotional intelligence.
Are your daily thoughts nurturing a thriving, lush garden in your mind, or are they just adding more weeds? Do you worry about things a lot? Are you stressed all the time? Do you let others tell you what to think, or find it difficult to say ‘no’? Do you put yourself down a lot? Do you focus on daily media that reports violence and doom and gloom in the world, or media that focuses on interesting and uplifting topics?
To improve your mental wellbeing, take responsibility for what you feed your mind. Try not worrying so much about the past or the future, and live more in the present moment. Don’t take on other people’s problems as yours. Set your limits and don’t overcommit. Break down problems into smaller, more manageable pieces if they feel overwhelming. Practice monitoring your self-talk and replacing unhelpful, limiting thoughts with more helpful ones. Use affirmation work to replace limiting core beliefs and improve self-worth. See a counsellor or take meditation classes to learn how to stop the barrage of daily thoughts, particularly if they keep you up at night.
People can have such a sense of responsibility in their lives, that it can be difficult to find the time to enjoy those around them. It’s important to create happy nurturing relationships, so we can share our lives with others, feel like we belong, and not feel alone or isolated. Having happy relationships makes us feel good, and brings more meaning to our lives. Can you stop long enough to spend quality time with family members, or nurture your personal relationship so that it fosters longevity? Do you catch up with friends that you value regularly, even if it is just by phone at times? Is there time in your life to make someone else’s day, or help with a community project to give something back (a great way to lift one’s spirits). All these things create a feel-good factor for us and give us a sense that we can make a difference and we are valued.
People find different ways to nurture their spiritual wellbeing, which basically relates to your connection to your inner self and finding your own meaning of life. Do you live your life by a particular religion or a belief in a higher power or a belief in yourself? Maybe it’s a belief in the power of nature and a sense of connectedness to other living things. Maybe it’s trusting that everything is as it should be, or deciding that everything that happens to us, good or bad, is for the learning experience. Are you honouring what you feel deep down inside? Can you find the courage to follow your intuition or gut feeling if something doesn’t feel right? It’s important to take the time to reflect on what you believe in and decide whether it’s working for you. If it isn’t, then maybe it’s time to seek more information and re-assess.
When was the last time you stopped to just smell the roses? Taking time out to sit in silence and just be with yourself is important to allow your own intuitive intelligence to come through. Reconnecting with nature is also so important for your general wellbeing because it grounds you and gives you a feeling of connectedness.
So if you’re wanting to pay more attention to yourself and find more balance in your life, start by making small changes. If you’d like some help and support, call for an appointment.