Beyond Yoga – What Self Care Really Means

Somewhere along the way, we decided that being busy was cool. I don’t know how many times the response I hear to the question, “How are you?” is “Good. I’m just really busy…”

According to Psychology Today, the need to be busy is actually associated with happiness. It makes sense because we need a purpose in our lives in order for it to be fulfilled. If we are busy, then we have this ‘idea’ that we’re living a meaningful life, albeit false.

Being busy also gives us a false sense of satisfaction – the constant striving to be in that positive emotional state that being busy has given us in the past. So, we fall into bad habits of filling up our calendar with activities.

 

What’s So Bad About Being Busy?

This need to be busy means we are prone to engage in tasks that serve no real meaning or purpose to us and sometimes are even harmful. Without self-awareness or the self permission to ‘switch off’ from being busy, we run the risk of not even recognising how we are harming ourselves or others.

We also have no time to assess where our life is at – what’s working, what’s not and are we really living a meaningful and connected life? Are we truly satisfied with who we are and what we are doing?

But, being busy isn’t necessarily bad – it’s about how you are spending your time.

If you’re busy because you spend four hours a day painting for the fun of it, then that’s probably not a bad thing! But, if you’re busy doing ‘stuff’ all day for everyone else and it’s gotten to the point where you don’t even know what you enjoy or don’t enjoy doing, then it’s time to take some time out for YOU.

Allowing yourself to reconnect physically, emotionally and spiritually will allow you to better understand what it is that you need and want in order to be your best.

When you are at your best, you are at the best for everyone else around you:

  • Your energy levels will be higher so can give more and perform better.
  • You will naturally begin to value your time more so you will get more done in smaller amounts of time.
  • The physical aches and pains will subside because you’re taking more care of your body and listening to what it needs.
  • You will sleep better because you are more at ease with the way you are living your day to day life and the decisions you’re making.
  • Your health will also improve because you are listening to what your body needs and making better choices to nourish yourself.
  • Most of all, spending more time alone and enjoying yourself will allow you to truly understand what it is that you need to do less of so that you can be happier.

Woman breathing breathing in fresh air with arms outstretched

 

How Do I Know if I’m Busy?

A really simple indication of whether you’re disconnected from yourself is to think about how comfortable you are with being bored. If the thought of doing nothing immediately makes you nervous or guilty or any other negative thought – then you can be sure that underneath the ‘busyness’, you have emotions and feelings being ignored.

 

More Than Just Yoga Class

Taking care of yourself and letting go of being busy is more than just going to yoga and drinking green smoothies. It’s about being bored, it’s about being comfortable with your own time and allowing yourself ‘me’ time before it gets to breaking point.

Making small changes each day will increase your energy and your self-worth. Start by using your calendar, just like you might do for work. Use the calendar to block time out each day for yourself. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day to honour yourself. This can be anything you like – whether it’s colouring in, writing in a journal, doing some stretches and actually focusing on how each movement feels for you.

Take a look at your daily activities and think about which activities are pulling you down. Can you replace these with more enjoyable tasks that are going to benefit you and your dreams? What is it that nourished your soul?

Self-care is not about being selfish. Self-care is about honouring yourself and allowing yourself to live more authentically without the guilt!

If you’re not sure where to start – I run ‘Self-Care Sunday Sessions’ in my practice in St Kilda. We can spend some time uncovering what it is that is being ignored and then I can help you create a self-care management plan so you can add taking care of yourself to your busy schedule.

 

In love and light,
Loretta x

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