“I’ve just got to get through this next week and then I can start to look after myself properly.”
How many times have you heard a friend or family member say that? How many times have you said that? If only I had a dollar for every time that phrase was uttered or thought. Let’s just go with I’d be really rich.
We are all guilty of it sometimes. When the going gets tough, the tough battle on. Unfortunately, looking after yourself often takes back seat to that urgent deadline, that extra activity you need to run the kids to, that appointment to take your parent to, that “there is always something urgent going on” thing.
You can’t pour from an empty cup
It is a great phrase I’ve been hearing a lot in the last year. I remember being surprised during the early days of parenthood when, exhausted from endless nights and days of no sleep, I kept going. I had such a massive physical and emotional stress overload, but somehow, I pulled the energy from who knows where and tended to the needs of my babies. Being a carer is like that. Your cup gets empty and yet you pull it from somewhere to plod on. But what comes out of that drained cup is only the dregs. When we are recharged and our cup is full, what we pour is of such better quality leaving us to truly care for those in our care.
That’s the spot
So, how long have you had it? You know that spot, that niggling twinge…the one that means you have to sit/stand just right or you’re just…not…quite…comfortable.
I know, I know, it’s not that bad just YET, and you’re just really busy this week. You can COPE with it. It only bothers you when you reach, stand or sit a certain way, it’s nothing popping a couple of pain-killer tablets won’t cover. Right?
Guess what!! You don’t have to “cope with it”. Continually popping a few pills isn’t good for your health in the long term. If you are being truly honest with yourself, you will know that next week there will be another busy “thing” that is going to get in the way of looking after yourself. The longer you leave that twinge, the more settled it gets and starts to become a more permanent and chronic part of who you are rather than a temporary ailment.
Investing a little bit of time now, BEFORE it gets “that bad” means you can get back to feeling good again before you are knocked out of action for days at a time.
It has taken me way too many years to realise that if I am going to have any sort of balance in my life, I have to bite the bullet and plan for it. I’m finally booking in my health appointments, hairdresser, etc to do list things weeks in advance. And somehow, I still manage to squeeze in all the other busy urgent things around those appointments. When I haven’t pre-booked or planned out my time to look after myself, the other “things” stretch out leaving me with no time for the activities I know I NEED to do (but end up putting off).
Back to that niggling twinge.
Massage can help with your muscular aches, pains and twinges, leaving you with energy to focus on the good stuff. Your necessary or fun stuff. Massage can even help you move your neck, arms, legs, back etc further than you remember they used to move. A quality consultation at the start of your massage appointment means I can focus on the areas causing your discomfort. I can look for the cause rather than just performing a massage band aid on the area with symptoms, which means you are much more likely to feel better for longer.
Imaging waking up after a proper night’s sleep. Imagine how much more you could achieve if you weren’t slowed down by those aches and pains; if you didn’t have to adapt how you do things so you don’t get that twinge. What if you said “I can make time to look after myself”? How much more could you give to others if your cup was full?