We rush. We focus on work, on our family, on our money and our bills. We look for cars and holidays, for leisure and business. We plan nights out, we book up our calenders with socialising, we squeeze in time to provide a shoulder to cry on, a support. We worry about our loved ones, we get angry at the news. We feel joy and pain and hope and fear. It’s constant.
When do we get time to think about ourselves?
Building a strong base is important. We feel selfish when we’re told to take time for ourselves. We put ourselves last at every turn. But to give our best, that love, that generosity… it needs to come form a stable, loved place. How can we think to give our best, when we aren’t at our best? If we give our all without keeping our base healthy, then we run the risk of there being nothing left to give.
It’s not selfish to look after ourselves, and I don’t mean the odd bubble bath or glass of wine. To make a positive difference in the world, however we choose to do so, we need to nurture and culture a positive difference in ourselves.
But where to begin? After the wine and the bubble baths, where do we start? What does ‘focusing on yourself’ even mean?
It’s not a quick process. It may take months to even begin to realise where we want to be heading and what impact we want to make. The key is giving ourselves the time and freedom to search. We want to look, to clear our eyes to visualise a purpose, a way of life, a code, a big picture. Start small. Nourish your body, nourish your soul. Those small steps can lead, over time, to a sea change.
We pressure ourselves with how healthily we should be eating, how much exercise we should be doing. When we bite off more than we can chew, we punish ourselves for seemingly failing to stick to a regime. Looking after oneself doesn’t demand a massive action. Small changes lead to a new outlook.
So choose simpler foods. Forget the pressure of the gym and take a walk and climb a tree. Run in the rain and play in the swingparks.
We need to give ourselves the freedom to stay curious. Learn, read, study, even a few minutes at a time. Meditate, practice mindfulness. Consume ethically. Ask small questions. Then ask bigger questions. Listen to the answers. Consider. Contemplate.
If we want to make a difference, the things we care about deserve the best that we can give. A balanced, strong self means we can channel more into the things we are passionate about. And we all deserve that.