Last night, I attended a self-care workshop. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was a fantastic evening, full of education and inspiration, and a reminder of why putting ourselves at the top of our priority list is so vital.
Too often, when we are faced with a demanding schedule, work deadlines, family needs, even life-min, the first thing that we cast aside is ourselves. Any of these sound familiar? Planned an early morning meditation but I now ‘need’ to respond to that email? My family are visiting so I ‘need’ to make sure they will have everything they need, I’ll cancel that catch-up with a friend. The car needs the MOT doing, I’ll book it on ‘my’ day-off, I can just wait in the garage whilst they do it.
These things may not sound major and I am sure you may argue that they should come first. Sometimes, these other things should, yet thats the key word, sometimes. In a time where convenience and on-demand is world we inhabit, we have fallen into a culture where we feel we ‘have’ to respond to everything immediately. An email notification pings on your phone and laptop, I’ll read that now, we forget that we’re in the middle of dinner or that its midnight and you should be sleeping.
At the self-care event I attended last night, I did two things I rarely do. First of all, I turned my phone off. Secondly, when the skincare consultant asked for a model for a demonstration of their facial, I volunteered myself. These two things may sound very minor, but to me they were huge.
Switching my phone off meant that the temptation to respond to message alerts, film or photograph the event to post on social media, had been removed. I was fully present, taking in everything that the wonderful Adele Smyth and Francesca Elizabeth Williams said to me and asking questions which in turn built new relationships.
Volunteering to be a ‘model’ not only meant that I stretched myself out of my comfort zone, but I benefited from a wonderful skin treatment from the team at the Esher branch of Skinsmiths. When I arrived back home, I felt more relaxed that I had in a long time, all after two hours of disconnecting and being present.
This morning, I was happy and eager to get up when the alarm went off at 05:30am. I didn’t rush to respond to emails or thing about what else I needed to ‘do’. I enjoyed a leisurely shower and then taking my dog for a walk, without worrying about the time or what I ‘should’ have been doing instead.
How we treat and look after ourselves impacts so much on how we feel about ourselves. I appreciate we live in a time of busy and two hour periods of ‘me’ time every day may not be achievable, but sure we can find 15 or 30 minutes each day. A little extra time in the shower? Slowing down between tasks or work to reset. Not automatically reaching for our phones when we wake.
I’m implementing my own self-care rituals to practice what I preach, I am a better me when I nurture my whole, from what I put into my body to how I treat it and my mind. How or what are you doing to do the same for you? I’d love you to leave a comment on this article to let me know.