Are you always pushing yourself?

You say things like 'I'm just going to...' and 'One last thing...' or 'Don't worry, I'll power through it'

And when you're always pushing yourself and running at 110% ALL THE TIME, you KNOW it doesn't work.

Our bodies require rest and relaxation to repair. We know the difference. When we're restored, we're fresh, full of ideas and creativity, not to mention patience and gentleness. 

I pretended this 'I need to rest' thing didn't apply to me (despite years of BUSY in my late teens). 

Pushing through: to that deadline, to the next weekend, 'through this little bump in the road'. it was always the same.

I would keep going and keep going and keep going, until I dropped. 

I then felt guilty for missing work because I was ill. 

I was trying to prove I had everything right, and was doing 'everything I could'. 

I was asking for burn out. 

“When…., then…"

And I caught myself on this train again.

When I…., then I’ll….

FOR SO LONG I didn't use these two CRUCIAL words that so many women don't think applies to them

SELF. CARE

Looking after myself was bottom of the list. 

Until you find yourself crying for no reason at work, snapping at your colleagues and being permanently tired. 

And even if you're not at that stage, it can be easy to think 'when I get everything done, THEN I'll relax.'

I have to admit, I slipped into this recently. (It's a process, I'm learning!)

I’m having so much fun connecting with people and caught up in the energy of creating that I let myself get overcome with ideas and excitement and forget to pace myself. I was all about 'DO DO DO' - messaging people, writing blog posts or thinking up new plans. 

And then I get tired. And overwhelmed. 

And it becomes a big old rush and a 'to-do' list. 

Our lives aren’t a to-do list.

You want to change because you want yourself to be at peace with life, to know you can accept and handle everything that comes your way and be able to create, learn and enjoy the little moments, and the big exciting times

If you’re with me on this, take a couple of minutes to write a list (or create a spider diagram)

Ask yourself this:

What makes you feel cared for? 

What puts you in a place of self-trust?

What brings you back to YOU?

Here’s a few of mine to get you started:

  • having my hair cut
  • putting on my dressing gown and getting into bed with a book 
  • eating out
  • free writing or journalling
  • travelling 
  • a cup of tea and a favourite book
  • candles and a bath
  • staying in a hotel
  • clean sheets
  • talking with X
  • chopping vegetables and creating a meal from scratch
  • A Harry Potter marathon
  • painting my nails
  • a long hot shower
  • a boogie (in my living room or a dance class!)
  • drawing 
  • a cup of tea on the balcony

Compiling this list might seem like a really simple thing to do (too easy?) but if you feel stressed, burned out, challenged, tired and fed up, this list is your new ‘go-to’.

Only YOU can write it, because only you know what allows you to come back to YOU. 

And when THAT happens, magic happens. You allow yourself to be restored, rested and at peace again. 

When you’re done with your list, pin it up somewhere obvious and visible and find a way (cancel other stuff if you need to!) to put all (or as many as possible) of the things on your list into your diary over the next month or two. 

This is supporting yourself, and it’s a beautiful change you can make NOW and usually without spending thousands or getting ill first.

Self-care doesn't have to take a long time. And yet it can revolutionise our day, week or even YEAR. 

What self-care practice could you implement TODAY?  

I would be honoured for your to tweet me your ideas for self-care! My Twitter handle is @iclairemeredith or post them on my Facebook page

If you know you're in a place where you're ready to make a serious change and would like one to one personal support, find out more about working with me by visiting this link:  

www.clairemeredith.co.uk/the-gentle-ceo 

With love,