No matter who you are, what you do, what role/s you have in your life, you must take care of yourself – ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup’. Rest and self-care are so important for the mind, the body and the soul. Regardless on whether you are an athlete or not.
It is shown, women especially find it difficult to take time for themselves and to prioritise their our own self-care. It often takes an illness, an accident, an injury, burn out or simply ‘cracking’ under the pressure to remind us to give ourselves the time and care we need.
When we are stressed out, self-care is often the first thing we let go of – and I’ve seen it within a number of my athletes, so I can only assume that it is happening more broadly.
During stressful times such as many are currently experiencing, our brains can go into fight-or-flight mode and our perspective narrows. We can be so busy trying to solve problems that we are stuck in a “doing” mode and can become anxious and overwhelmed. And many may not have a ‘go to’ list of self care activities that they can lean on during these times so we simply don’t even go there. And this doesn’t mean you have to go away on a retreat (although how nice would that be right now?!) It can be as simple as taking 10 minutes to yourself – and NO, scrolling on social media doesn’t count!
Here’s a simple list of some ways you can give back to YOU that don’t take much time at all, but the benefits can be wide ranging.
– Focus on sensations around you, sights, smells, sounds… these can help bring you to the present moment
– Go for a walk and breath in fresh air – leave the phone at home / in your pocket!
– Listen to running water / take yourself near water. t is one of the most soothing sounds and the energy from water can be drawn within.
– Take a hot shower / bath and play some relaxing music. Take your time. Don’t rush.
– Get creative, draw, journal, play some music, do a puzzle… These simple activities can bring your focus back.
– Get back to nature, do some gardening, go for a walk or sit and take in the sights, sounds and smell of nature. Nature is so healing.
– Turn the lights AND TV off, light a candle and read a book or listen to a meditation..
– CONNECT with others – it is so important while isolated. Call a friend (txt doesn’t count), facetime, zoom. OR meet at a park, go for a walk with them. Connection is key to our fundamental being.
So remember: self care is not self indulgence, it is self preservation. Take care of yourself – starting today. What will you choose? 🙂