In my new Facebook group, the BodyIntelligence Community, we’re focusing on self care this month.
Self care is important for everyone, but I’m especially passionate about advocating it for women, and in particular women in business.
In my experience women tend to put themselves last. It’s a generalization of course, but generally women put the needs of others before their own – the needs of their children, parents, spouse or friends for instance. Women in business also put their business first.
It’s no wonder stress, overwhelm and burnout are rife.
YOU are your biggest asset though, and that asset needs looking after.
When we’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, we cannot possibly bring our best selves to our work, to our relationships, or to our lives.
We end up getting run down or sick. We make mistakes. We find it hard to come up with creative solutions. We are irritable with colleagues and loved ones. We’re not present (either literally or figuratively) for the things that are important to us. We suffer. The quality of our work suffers. Our business suffers. Our relationships suffer.
Everything suffers when we don’t look after ourselves first.
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 re respond to the situations we find ourselves in. Choice in whether we respond with tension or ease.
It is self care in the moment.
That is the beauty of the Alexander Technique – of your body intelligence – you can take it 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 ourselves that nurture us, 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, playing the violin, or even that most mundane act of self care – brushing your teeth!
Body intelligence will enhance all of them. You will be more comfortable, more at ease, more present and connected, and more aligned (inside and out) as you do them.
It is also an integral part of Constructive Rest – a self-care practice commonly taught in Alexander Technique lessons and classes, and, as you probably know by now, is my own favorite form of self care. It is a very simple, yet powerful way to energize and restore body and mind. It’s a mindful way to lie down which encourages improvement of posture, release of tension, and that calms the nervous system, so you can be your most efficient, energetic and productive self. It’s a key strategy in the BodyIntelligence approach.
I recently came up with the idea of the Power Pause, which is a way to be attentive to yourself in any position for just a few minutes (not more than five). It can be used for a quick Constructive Rest session, but also sitting at your desk, for instance. I believe it’s important for us to have self-care timeouts, but they don’t always need to take a long time. Just a few minutes can be enough for use to relax, regroup and re-energize.
We can’t and don’t work well when we’re running on empty fumes. Self care, and specifically the Power Pause and Constructive Rest, are ways for us to refuel.
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.
Take time for YOU!
And so I ask, what have you done for YOU today?
Let me know in the comments below. As always, I’d love to hear from you.
Image © IKO / 123RF Stock Photo