Have you ever told yourself that you don’t have time to take more care of yourself? Or maybe that you don’t have the resources or energy…but that you’ll get round to it one day?
We’ve all been there, in fact I think I used to one of the worst, always telling myself that I hadn’t quite worked hard enough to earn the right to take time off.
But, let’s be honest, our health and well-being is the most important thing in our lives, without it nothing else matters. Neglect it for too long and we soon notice a change in our mood, hormones, stress levels and our relationships with those we love.
Despite this, most of us sabotage our best efforts to make a little progress by cultivating habits that stand in the way of us taking more care of ourselves. We’re not always consciously aware of their impact but I imagine most of us can recognise at least one of these…
PUTTING YOURSELF LAST
When others need us, it’s a blessing to have time and love to share with them. But, if we’re always putting ourselves last when the time comes to help out, we simply won’t have the energy to share. This leaves us stretching ourselves further than we should and not showing up quite as well as we’d like to.
Could you find two minutes a day for yourself? That’s how I got started; 2 minutes a day to meditate for 30 days. It sounds too small to make an impact but it was enough to break the habit of not finding time for myself.
You could use that time to stretch, take a few deep breaths or repeat your favourite mantras. In the beginning, it’s not so much about what you do but more about what it represents; that you are worthy of your own time, attention and love.
OVERFILLING YOUR DIARY
If you find yourself rushing through your day, then you’re overfilling your diary. I’ve been guilty of this in the past and have often tried to squeeze much too many things into one day.
Without making room for the unexpected, as well as a bit of time for ourselves, we become overwhelmed and exhausted. Of course, we all have busy days and they can even be enjoyable but we don’t need to be busy to feel valued.
If you’re already using a day planner, try creating a little more white space in as many days as possible. This could be extra time to move between appointments so that you can arrive feeling fresh and prepared or simply a few minutes here and there to breathe deeply and refresh your thoughts.
Multi-tasking is more accurately described today as task switching, and it’s not as productive as we used to think. It took me a while to get used to the idea, but after making the change and focusing deeply on each task individually - single-tasking - I found that I was much more productive and finish work earlier! I encourage you to give it a try for a week or two and see how you feel.
COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
How does comparison sabotage your wellbeing? It drains our energy and often leaves us feeling inadequate and not good enough. Focusing on what you don’t have or haven’t achieved leads to negativity and frustration; this mindset is not conducive to a healthy mind and body. However, if we keep our gaze turned inwards, we can cultivate gratitude for our blessings and address our personal and spiritual needs.
ALWAYS SAYING YES
While it can be a challenge to say no to people, it’s sometimes what we need to do to protect our mental and physical health.
Agreeing to every inviation and request, overloads our schedules - and minds - which doesn’t help anyone. It can even create a sense of regret and resentment. Think through some of the less significant commitments you’ve made and see if you can take a step backwards - who knows, there could be someone else just waiting for the chance to help out instead.
If saying no feels uncomfortable at first, then I’ve included a few phrases and tips in this post that will prove helpful.
Depsite having some habits that support our wellbeing, when it comes to food, many of us make unhealthy choices. It’s easy to reach for sugar-filled, processed food but it’s a sure way to sabotage your health and wellbeing.
Eating habits can feel challenging to change because the wrong foods usually taste so good. But, if we’re serious about our health and wellbeing, change is often needed. We’re not striving for perfection - or diets - just a few healthier habits in your day.
Start small; change a high-carb lunch for a salad, an afternoon coffee for a glass of mineral water and leave the sugary snacks for your colleagues. Smile when you make every small change and build on them until making healthier choices becomes a habit.
So, did any of those sound familiar? I’m sure most of us have done at least one of them and unintentionally sabotaged our health and wellbeing. Don’t concern yourself with the past though, simply focus on making some positive changes. I hope that these simple tips have inspired you to move towards a healthier and happier life - let me know in the comments below…
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.