AND LIVING A LIFE WHERE WE ALL THRIVE AND NOT JUST SURVIVE.
Everyone is talking about it – but why is it important for me to look after myself? Surely the joy is in the giving? I was always told as a child that it is better to give than to receive.
Have you heard of the analogy – You can’t pour from an empty cup? This is how I see it:
You have a yummy bottle of something nice to drink – your best friend comes over and you give them a glass of joy & love as they are feeling a little down and you know that this will make them feel loved. Your children come back from school and they are feeling grumpy; you give them an extra-large glass full of joy – you know that it will help them to feel happier and to help with doing their homework. Your partner comes home from work and is tired and disappointed for not getting the promotion that they had been promised. You give them a glass with ice and a smile and their world seems so much brighter.
Now at the end of the day you decide that you would quite like a glass too as you are feeling tired – But there is nothing left in the bottle! There is nothing left for you to quench your joy!
I worked in the corporate world for 17 years and witnessed first-hand how stress affected not only myself but also my colleagues – many of us where unsettled emotionally, physically ill and out of balance. Some even needed stress leave. I experienced some of my closest friends battling with stress & anxiety – observing the impact it had on their personal lives as well as my own.
Life is linear – We are born, there is life in between and then we die. Whilst I always knew this, it only really sunk in after 3 very close matriarchal women in my life suddenly died in a short succession.
Through these observations and first-hand experiences I was beginning to understand that life is incredibly valuable. For me to live a more balanced and fulfilling life I needed to make some proactive changes.
It is up to ME to make these changes in my life not anyone else.
I started to make small changes; small positive changes. It was clear to me that exercise, eating nutritiously, getting enough sleep, having regular reflexology, meditation, spending quality time with those that brought me joy (to name a few) ALL gave me the energy to live each day so that I was living my best life possible.
All these positive changes became my very own personal ‘First Aid Box’.
The key here is to make changes that are manageable and sustainable. If you don’t run and decide that you are going to start to run 10km’s every night; it is likely that you may find it difficult to sustain. Whereas if you choose to join a group that might be running and walking or progresses from Couch to 5k then the likelihood of you maintaining this change will most probably be better. There is absolutely nothing wrong with starting low and working your way up. Change can be hard, so by starting small it can make it easier.
There will be times when you gradually go back to some old ways, and that is ok. We are only human and these things happen. Be kind to yourself.
I still find myself reverting back to old habits – when I start to feel lethargic and a little bleaghhh – I go back to my ‘First Aid Box’ and pick one thing and start from there.
I know that I want to be the absolute best version of myself and to thrive in this life – not just survive! Why would you not want to give each day your absolute best, to live a life where you appreciate everything that comes your way? Even in times of struggle and hardship, I will always look at what I can appreciate from it.
Let us all begin to fall in love with being alive and more importantly let us teach our children how important it is to live our lives so that we thrive and not just survive.