Investing in YOU

“The most important project you’ll ever work on is YOU”.

So, what are you doing to invest in your own personal success? To treat yourself? Yes, life is busy and it can be hard to make time for yourself, let alone to prioritise it, but if you’re not looking after yourself then who is? You may have a wonderful spouse/partner/family member/friend who cares for you and keeps you going, especially through tough times, but what are YOU doing for YOU? Self-care is something I am trying to focus on at the moment, and I have to admit it’s a bit odd. The idea of taking time out to do something just for me is a little against the grain, to say the least. Especially in the society we live where as Brooks would say “the world went and got itself in a big damn hurry” [Shawshank Redemption]. Add social media to that, often highlighting all the great and exciting things we ‘should’ be doing for our kids, for work, to keep up with current trends etc and the world is in overdrive! So, am I clutching at this notion of ‘self-care’ as an excuse to get off the rat race? Or as an excuse just to be lazy for a bit? “Sorry Morgan I can’t help you fold that massive pile of washing, I am investing in my personal self care”… as I sit in the sun, feet up, reading a book. Maybe. (Haha let’s see if Morgan reads this!)

Or maybe self-care really is important, now more than ever. We all know the prevalence of mental health issues in NZ is growing at an alarming rate, particularly in our children. Where those issues stem from is a question I am completely unqualified to answer, and I don’t begin to suggest self-care is the answer to combatting that, but maybe there is something in it. What if taking some time out of the daily rush and really reconnecting with your authentic self is more than an excuse to do whatever you like for a while, and it is actually quite empowering? Powerful even. I am starting to genuinely believe it is. Self-care is too easily laughed off as too ‘fluffy or ‘soft’ or shoved aside in favour of that ever-growing to-do list. I know this, because I have laughed it off and tucked it away in the ‘I don’t need that stuff’ drawer many times. But, I am now coming to realise it has a real and important place in the modern world. On that basis I am choosing to make time for me, to spend a little time stripping back the noise, identifying and doing the things I enjoy, being present and being grateful. I am choosing to continue to challenge myself, to set some goals, focus my enery on what makes me happy, and hopefully be a better Mum/Wife/Business Owner as a result.

And if I can teach my children that as much as we as parents try to pave the way for them, they are in control of their journey, and that stopping off at a few rest areas along the way to check their map, recharge their batteries and change their end destination if they wish, is a great way of ensuring they get to where they want to be in life, safely and happily, then I’ll take it as an additional bonus.

So what is on my just for me list? I jotted down some of the things I enjoy and was surprised to see how simple these things were, and how few of the things I love to do cost any money (aside from my all-time favouriate online shopping) e.g. take a walk, soak in the bath, burn a scented candle, crank up the music and have a ‘dance party’ with the kids, get outside in the sun, read a book…

This week I have ticked off my weekly run with Morgan (OK, I missed it the first two weeks as I prioritised work meetings, but I made it today, third time lucky!), I’ve booked a massage, and hope to make that a 6-weekly thing, I’ve found a great new TV series ‘The Split’ and snuggle up in front of the fire to watch that at night, and I have booked myself on a Workshop this week to continue my own professional development… good to keep the brain learning! Is there an element of guilt creeping in at all of this? Yes, but I am working hard to shut that down :)

So, what are you doing today, or this week, JUST FOR YOU? its not selfish