Far too often I hear women (sorry gals, but guys tend to be better at creating guilt-free time for themselves!) share how they don’t have enough time for themselves and that even when they do put some time aside, they feel guilty for doing it. Enough! I’m here to tell you self-care isn’t just a daily ritual, it’s a non-negotiable in my books and it should be in yours too! (This is where you all raise your chair pose hands and yell, “yeah, preach it sister!”).
“Nurturing yourself isn’t selfish. It’s essential to your survival and your wellbeing.” – Renee Peterson Trudeau
I’m blessed to work for myself and from home, which means I technically get a lot of me time, but what I’m referring to is actual dedicated time for me, not just being on my own. “Me time” entails doing something for yourself. Something you enjoy, feel passionate about, something that fills your cup (and yes, ladies, getting your nails done counts! As does yoga ).
For me, that time can be working out, the beach, spending time with my dog by the river, being pampered, taking a candlelit bath, cooking to tunes that suit my mood, reading or just lazing in front of my latest Netflix series. It involves tuning out from the day-to-day noise of others, work, phone, internet etc., so you can re-energise and be the best version of you. Self-care is not selfish. It is not a dirty or guilty word. The first person you need to value above all others is you.
The same goes for connection.
Our relationships are the first thing we tend to sacrifice when we are busy, and yet what are we without them? Humans were born to feel connected to others. We thrive from company. It lifts us up, fills our heart and gives us purpose. Connections with my family, friends, colleagues, clients, new relationships, my fellow yogis and of course, first and foremost, my husband Byron. I need (and most importantly I WANT) to make time for them all.
Growing up, we hardly ever sat at the table and ate as a family. Byron and I make a point to do it every night we are both home, phones away – no matter how busy work feels – and be present with each other while we eat. That’s connecting. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes each day. Something is always better than nothing at all. Stolen moments of good, present connection can be much more rewarding then a whole day of half-assed effort. Yes, it can take a bit of effort to make the time for everyone but let’s just do our best. You know we’ll feel better for it.
And of course, it goes without saying that your relationship with yourself matters the most. Make it your number one relationship priority. Seriously! If your cup isn’t filled first, it’s impossible to have enough to fill other people’s. As I always say, people should be sipping from your overflow, not your actual cup. When you are the best version of you, others get to experience that version too
Carla Thomas, Holistic Health and Business Coach