Having spent the first two weeks of January fighting off the flu I was reminded of the importance of how helpful my self-care tool-kit is as well as the change in how I approach feeling ill. I used to be that person who would worry about others when they were ill, send my team home and tell them to look after themselves but always push myself through illness and keep going – I remember one time I had a throat infection and was on double antibiotics and was still working!! In January I listened to my body and knew at one point I needed to rest so that’s what I did, yes it meant I had to re-arrange a couple of appointments but those people were understanding and when I did meet up with them I was back on form and able to give them my best.
Self-care for me is such an important thing from the simplest things like having nice hand creams and lip balms readily available to ensuring I have regular me-time, exercise weekly and spend time with friends to weekends away, spa days and holidays. It’s about doing something to help lift your mood and listening to your body when it tells you there is something going on. A bit like when I am out for a run and my body wants to stop I check in with if it is just being lazy or really tired and therefore stopping is a good idea to prevent injury. Knowing yourself is so important, what is right for one person may not be right for you.
Knowing when to say no
For me it is also about knowing what I want to do and saying no more often when it will help me. Sometimes we have little choice but that is not always the case and therefore saying no is an option and one many of us don’t use often enough. I love this great quote from ‘What I know for sure’ by Oprah Winfrey – “Before you say yes to anyone, ask yourself: what is my truest intention?” There is often a lot of fear involved when we say no; being judged, upsetting other people, being seen as difficult etc but often when we do say no what we fear doesn’t happen – other people understand and you find they have a plan B if you can’t help.
What’s in your self-care tool-kit?
Feel free to come join my Facebook group, Wellbeing Workout at Work, where I have a supportive community talking about wellbeing at work and we are discussing this month’s theme of self-care.