Today a fellow Graves Warrior and blogger Ms Self Esteem posted a wonderful piece about the sustainability of change in our lives and it got me thinking about the simple act of taking time for yourself.
For me personally one of the hardest things I have had to do on my journey with Graves is to slow down.
And I mean REALLY slow down.
I used to look forward to the weekend because it meant days and nights out with friends, brunches, parties, movies, restaurants, late nights… “Me time” used to mean and hour in the nail salon getting a manicure on the way home from work to get dressed to go out again within and hour or two.
Even writing that is tiring!
Now I look forward to the weekend to have down time, go for long walks, read, watch movies, have good conversation, spend lazy afternoons and quiet evenings. And let me tell you it was not easy getting where I am now, it has taken me over a year to be happy with my ‘new’ life.
I remember having a panic attack at one point when I realised that I couldn’t continue to be the old me, “What will I be if I am not this?” was my biggest concern. I really believed that if I wasn’t the crazy, fun-loving, let’s go out at the the drop of a hat person any more I would somehow cease to exist. And for the record, I am still fun-loving!
What is interesting is how the people you need to help you on your way come into your life at exactly the right time. Several people have appeared in my life and new relationships have been formed with a new set of parameters, and I have been able to transition into a much more healthy lifestyle because of this.
The amazing thing… all my panicking about who will I be after all these changes were totally unfounded. Turns out I am still me and people still appear to like me for exactly who I am. Phew!!!
Taking time out for yourself is so important. Not only for people who are unwell, but for each and every one of us.
Cast your mind back to your childhood, do you remember when shops were closed on Sundays? Why was that?- to give people a rest from work, to spend time with loved ones and to worship. I don’t know about you but I miss those days.
This “pause” is what we have lost in today’s world. We work extremely long hours; we are in constant touch with people via telephone, email, text and all the other apps that we use; we are used to doing our shopping at all hours on the day and night and we eat fast foods, we pay our bills online – and yet no one seems to have time to do the things they want to.
Time to be with yourself doesn’t mean sitting in meditation – although it can if that is what you enjoy.
Taking time with yourself is to do something that fills you with joy and gives you a chance to reflect on how you are doing with yourself.
For me it can mean a walk, reading a book or sometimes colouring in one of my lovely mindful colouring books. For me these activities take me to place of calm and I can shut out the rigours of everyday life.
I also enjoy cooking. It is so easy these days to order take out or buy food that is ready prepared but there is nothing more satisfying than spending time in the kitchen cooking a meal from scratch. The aromas, the processes and the final product are all so fulfilling. All the better if you are sharing the fruits of your labour of love with family and friends.
Make the time to be kind to yourself, always.