Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I had been on holiday the previous week, and due to a family illness, I had to come home early. It was absolutely the right thing to do, and I didn't even think twice about it as I went to the airport in the early hours for the first flight home. Fortunately things seem to have turned out fine, so after a few days of caring, and when I would have been back from holiday in any case, things returned to normal.
What I wasn't prepared for, was for my emotions to go haywire once I know it was going to be okay. I slept badly, and spent yesterday feeling like a bit of an emotional wreck!
As it was my first day back at my desk, I had a to-do list as long as my arm, and lots of plans to write my newsletter, create themed posts for my Facebook group, catch up on emails etc. Running my own business and with my Director role for the UK Health Coaches Association, I schedule my activities carefully and I don't have much leeway in time, but I knew yesterday that I just wasn't going to get my full plan done.
So I decided to listen to my mind and body, and prioritise my self-care. I wrote a short 'to-do' list with a couple priority actions, but dumped everything that wasn't crucial. That way, when I got to the end of the day, I felt good that I ticked everything off, rather than bad that I hadn't done what I hoped I might have if I was firing on all cylinders.
I went for a walk in the fresh air, I was careful what I ate to ensure it was nutritious, albeit with a bit of chocolate thrown in(!), I diffused some calming and uplifting essential oils, including 'Motivate' and 'Peace' and I took time in the evening to do some relaxing and enjoyable activities. Today I feel much better, and raring to go!
All this got me thinking about how we prioritise looking after ourselves. I wonder what you think about the importance of your self-care and looking after you. How far down is this on your 'to-do' list? If it's not at the top, then remember that we can't be there for others if our cups our half-empty. We need to be strong in ourselves to support our loved ones, and to have the energy to carry out our daily activities such as our jobs, managing the household, looking after family etc.
I even wonder how much our lack of confidence in protecting our own self-care regime contributes to unwanted menopause-related symptoms?
I know that a year or so ago, I would have felt guilty about taking time out for myself, and probably would have pushed myself to get more done yesterday, and feeling a failure that I hadn't done so. Part of my journey learning to be a Health Coach for others, has also been about applying my learning and principles to myself.
So today I urge you to put your self-care higher on your list without feeling guilty. In your mid-life years you deserve to look after yourself, and I believe it will help reduce unwanted menopause-related symptoms. If that's too hard to swallow, think of it as an investment in to supporting your loved ones around you. Be their rock!
Mary helps mid-life women who are feeling stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed with menopause-related symptoms to make lifestyle changes to take back control of their health and wellbeing so they can enjoy life again and embrace their future. She runs a supportive Facebook group 'Blooming Menopause', offers free essential oil consultations and Mid-Life Action Sessions as well as running coaching programmes including 'Managing Hot Flushes Naturally'. Have a look at www.bloomwithmary.co.uk for further information.