MENTAL MONDAYS | Self-Care & Me – It’s Not An Indulgence It’s a Discipline
SELF CARE: When the f**k have I got time for self-care? I’m running two businesses, a blog and a rather large house and I’m trying to keep two children, a goldfish and two damn guinea pigs alive. Not to mention the attention the hubby needs.
Mindfulness: Nope I can’t spare five minutes to sit in a quiet room and be mindful thank you very much. I haven’t got five minutes to damn well think properly!
Breakfast? Coffee. And maybe a banana if I’ve found the time to do the food shop.
Lunch? If I can prize myself away from my office, it’s a sandwich – probably stuffed with a couple of slices of over-processed ham from the fridge, washed down with a couple of cups of strong coffee. Usually around 3pm.
Reading: Read a book? When? When have I got time to read a bloody book? I read Closer Magazine front-to-back on a Tuesday.
Exercise: Jim? Who’s Jim? Ah, sorry you mean gym. Nope. I just haven’t time. Too busy running a business and running around after kids. I walk the kids to school every morning. Will that do?
2 litres of water a day: I can do 2 litres of Sauvignon Blanc on a weekend – does that count?
Sleep: I’m usually asleep by midnight after the obligatory two-hour scroll through Instagram. Up at 8am, at a push, 8.15am if I can get away with not washing my barnet. Mornings are a bastard though. A 20 minute-turn around to get out of the door is a killer – my nerves are shot to bits by the time I’ve catapulted them both through the school gates.
The truth is, I went with the easy options. I made too many excuses, took shortcuts and had zero willpower to do anything that was outside of the norm. It takes strength, self-control, drive and determination to have the will to do something that is not part of the daily routine, which in essence – for yours truely – has been largely about working and drinking wine for the last 20 years.
“Self-care is not an indulgence. Self-care is a discipline. It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.”
The tooth-brushing analogy
We brush our teeth twice a day. I sometimes brush mine three! Why? Because it is instilled into us from as early as we can remember that we have to brush our teeth or they will fall out. We do it without thinking. It’s a ritual. So why don’t we apply this to other areas of our lives whereby our health and wellbeing might be affected? Because it takes discipline, that’s why. It takes discipline to turn my light off at 9pm and go to sleep. It takes discipline to get up at 6.30am and meditate for five minutes when I could have another hour’s kip – even though I’ve had nearly eight hours already. It takes discipline to go to the gym or go for a run every day. It takes discipline to eat well, drink less booze and read a self-help book when I’d rather be scrolling through Katie Price’s Instagram to find out what shit she’s got herself in today…
Work Hard, Play Hard – no thanks.
I’ve been wired to think that more work equals more gain. The harder I work the more successful I become. But the realisation is starting to set in that the more I work, the less productive I am – too many ‘hours at the office’ is in essence, self-neglect. I’ve worked hard and played hard for far too long and it’s taking its toll of many aspects of my life, not least my mental and physical health. It’s no longer something I want to feel proud to declare.
I want to work smart and play meaningfully.
Productively is less about managing time and more about managing energy. It’s also about discipline.
With the help of my Balance Mentor – Olivia – Founder of A Place Within, I’m embarking on a journey to instil positive intentions into my daily routine. Intentions that will, I hope become rituals, just like my teeth-brushing.
My goal is to be the absolute best version of myself by my 40th Birthday on 30th January 2020. I want to look in the mirror and tell my self, with conviction, that I am the best version of myself.
I want to leave the old Lyndsey behind and become someone new. Someone who is completely at ease and happy with the person that I am. Importantly for me, I want to leave this urge to have to be significant to everyone and everything, behind. I have a year to turn my intentions into rituals – go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, meditate, eat well, exercise, restrict my wine consumption and spend more time with my family.
Olivia has made me write down my daily self-care intentions to help me, in her words, ‘be deliberate with my intentions’.
I know that by practising self-care and balancing out my ‘all or nothing’ character with the help of Olivia, that I will become a better parent, more productive in business, and ultimately, I’ll become the best version of myself. It ain’t going to be easy but now I am asking for change – I want to change – I don’t want to be that person anymore. Not just for me, but for the people who I love. I am making the change. Self-care over self-sabotage – it just takes some self-respect and self-discipline. That is all.
How do you practice self-care?
If you would like to find out more about how to bring balance and positive intentions into your daily life I urge you to check out Olivia’s blog HERE Follow my journey week by week with Olivia over on Instagram. CLICK HERE
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I’m a primary school teacher and I’m a mum to a beautiful, bright and bubbly six-year-old. I witness the ups and downs of wellbeing in children every day. Every parent faces the same dilemma – how to ensure the wellbeing of our children – particularly from a mental health perspective in a world that is more pressured than ever in more ways than one.
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