Updated: Mar 10
Written by Sue Fuller-Good (MSc Physio WITS) Physiotherapist with a special interest in the mind-body connection
We are becoming more aware now than ever before of the value of self-care. I have been doing many talks and workshops on the subject for corporates and business schools. The fervor with which people attend and show up for these, has alerted me to the crying need that people are experiencing, for support. I think it’s slowly coming clearer that this support has to come, at least in part, from inside. The "month of love" seems to be the perfect month to take a look at what works, what puts a band aid over an inner aching need, and what ticks boxes, but doesn’t really work.
Let’s start by taking a look at the difference between self-indulgence and true acts of self-care. It’s essential to notice the difference, not because there is a problem with self-indulgence, but it must be in the sweet spot! Not too much, and not too little.
First, ask if what you’re doing is a temporary quick fix or something that is meant to yield long-term benefits. Sometimes, self-care is best expressed by setting limits in ways that prioritize what’s most important to you. This takes discipline. Self-care looks for long term gain, not short term gratification. It’s not always easy to identify which you are doing at any one time, but constant reflection will help you to see which of the actions you are taking, make a sustainable difference and which just feel good for a little while.
Don’t feel that the word discipline means giving up all your vices! Some healthy indulgences are vital to support you. Some provide important moments of joy and pleasure, which are vital to wellbeing. But discipline provides freedom, not denial.
Self- care means defining clear boundaries that help ensure your long-term physical, mental, and spiritual health. It means clearly demarcating what is allowed and what is not, for you. It means saying “no” and meaning no. Not meaning “maybe.” “No’s” should not change to “yes’s” without very good reasons. Being able to say “no” assertively and with conviction enables you to say “yes” to your life. It’s the only thing that will free you to live your life the way you want to live it and the way you and your value system thinks you should. Sometimes it’s "no" to people and often its "no" to clutter and overload. Subtracting instead of always adding, culling ruthlessly is another form of no-saying.
Authentic self-care is a truly selfless act—that enables you to be a healthier being, a more engaged person for everyone else to enjoy being in relationship with. I love the words of the song by The Fray: “I’ll look after me for you and you look after you for me.”
I could go on, and I will in further blogs but this is a start - PART 1! I don’t want to blast you the first day, I would rather give you time to think about this and we will add to it next week. Stay tuned, and please lovely people, know that you are worth taking care of. Be kind to you and be good to you!
The more you take care of you, the more you will flourish and be able to perform.
Have a wonderful March, pulsing with passion and feeling terrific!