Self Care - Practising what I preach

So, the last couple of weeks have been busy and emotional and wonderful and a bit meh in places.

I have been working long hours - I'm not complaining, I love what I do and am constantly grateful that I can do what I love. I've had a wonderful friend visit from overseas and enjoyed every second we spent together. I've had family come to stay and that too was wonderful and I've had a couple of not so nice events that needed to be faced and resolved as best they could.

Friends and family make demands on my time , I'm studying - again!! and I have other commitments that need to be honored and that's wonderful. I am also very grateful to have our family to care for but I was feeling a little overwhelmed and off my game this week. Why was that?

Because I wasn't following my own advice and doing what I KNOW I need to do.

I KNOW how important it is to be mindful and pay attention to what my body is telling me.I KNOW that I am the creator of my own reality. I KNOW that I benefit from my twice daily meditation sessions and I KNOW that doing yoga every morning sets me up for the day and keeps me healthy and balanced and yet like everyone else when I'm under pressure, these are the things that start to slip. One glass of wine becomes two, my 30 minute meditations get reduced to ten minutes because I can't bear to give them up but really don't ??!! have the time and my yoga session all but disappears in the rush to cram everything else in.

My week becomes more hassled and I'm feeling tense and under pressure, I don't wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and how on earth am I going to meet my assessment deadline??

Thank goodness we have a dog who needs me to walk him out in nature everyday, I have to find time for that and that's what brings me clarity.

I'm out walking one morning before most people are awake and I'm drinking in the beauty of my surroundings (I'm not that stressed that I forget to walk mindfully through nature) and expressing gratitude for all that I have (quietly in my head- I'm not crazy) when it suddenly hits me....I am not practising what I preach. Yes I'm grateful and always mindfully aware to some extent but I haven't been paying mindful attention to me. I'm not grounded in the present moment of MY awareness. I have allowed myself to become emotionally attached to the outcome of my work, to be focusing on what has to be done tomorrow instead of how I am living today and I am not taking care of myself with loving kindness and self compassion.

I say my thanks for this insight (again quietly in my head) and stand still for a moment focusing on my breath - which to be fair I can see as it's so cold - and scan my body for areas of tension. Once I have let the tension go and start walking again as the dog has become impatient with all this self discovery during his walk time, I feel my usual sense of calm restore and return home feeling motivated to take responsibility for dealing with my wellbeing.

I MAKE the time to meditate - the ironing can wait- and I feel so much better for it. I am better placed to problem solve, to look at what needs to be done that day and realistically plan how I am going to do it. Some of it is postponed, some of it is delegated and what is left is prioritised and now achievable.

Plan made, I then MAKE time to enjoy my yoga session and already feel so much better, calmer and ready to mindfully enjoy my day.We don't know how many days we have so I really try to enjoy each and every one. Even when doing the jobs that I'm not so keen on, I try to find something positive in it. If I have to do it then I need to find a way to enjoy it and let's not forget as I have already proven, we often make time for the jobs over our own and other's wellbeing.

Living mindfully doesn't mean that we never get stressed or that difficult things wont happen to us.

What it does mean is that we have the awareness to know when we are not taking care of ourselves, when we are not living in the present moment and we have the strategies to quickly remedy the situation. We have the knowledge that mindfulness and meditation improve our quality of life by enabling us to focus easier, problem solve better and facilitating us choosing how we respond to what is going on in the present moment and that is what gives us control of how we live which in turn improves our physical and mental health.

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