In my Facebook group, the BodyIntelligence Community, we focus a lot on self-care.
In my experience many of us, and women especially, tend to put ourselves last. Self-care, if it’s even on the radar, is quite definitely at the bottom of the priority list.
This is a generalization of course, but women often put the needs of others before their own – the needs of their children, parents, spouse or friends – as well as work, business and career.
It’s no wonder stress, overwhelm and burnout are rife.
YOU, however, are your biggest asset, and that asset needs looking after.
When you’re stressed, just rushing from one this to the next, never taking a break, working non-stop, switching tracks, multi-tasking, fruitlessly trying to get the never-ending to-do list done, you cannot possibly bring your best self to your work, to your relationships – indeed to your life.
When you neglect your own needs, you end up getting run down or sick. You make mistakes. You find it hard to come up with creative solutions. You are irritable with colleagues and loved ones. You’re not present (either literally or figuratively) for the things that are important to you. You suffer. The quality of your work suffers. Your career suffers. Your business suffers. Your relationships suffer.
Everything suffers when you don’t look after yourself. You could call this selfish!
My approach to self-care – the BodyIntelligence approach – is based on the principles of the Alexander Technique.
Alexander Technique requires that you pay attention to yourself first – to what you are thinking and feeling and doing. If you try and skip this step it just doesn’t work.
Without this step there is no awareness, and therefore no possibility for choice and change.
Choice in how you respond to the situations you find yourself in. Choice in whether you respond with tension or ease.
It is self-care in the moment.
That is the beauty of the Alexander Technique – of your body intelligence. Once you’ve learned the internal skills, you can take them with you into anything you do.
I can hear what you’re thinking – that’s great. I don’t need to stop what I’m doing!
That’s true, but…
It is still hugely important to do the things for yourself that nurture you, mind, body and soul.
And guess what! You can take your body intelligence with you into your own specific self-care activities or practices – whether that’s a walk in nature, a yoga class, a hot bath, reading a book, chatting with a good friend, playing the violin, or even that most mundane act of self-care – brushing your teeth!
You’re practicing self-care in the moment as you practice self-care!
And when you do this, you will be more comfortable, more at ease, more present and connected, and more aligned (inside and out) as you do them. You are maximizing the effectiveness of any self-care practice.
We can’t and don’t work well when we’re running on empty fumes.
Self-care is the opposite of selfish.
This quote from Eleanor Brownn says is all:
“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
SO, take care of your greatest asset.
Yes. Take time for YOU!
And so, I ask you: What have you done for YOU today?
Let me know in the comments below. As always, I’d love to hear from you.
Image © iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo