The importance of looking after yourself

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Investing time in yourself is no different in principle to investing in anything else. With some time, space and careful thought, you can put some systems in place and start to feel the benefits. But why is it so important to invest in ourselves?

What happens if you don’t look after yourself?
You know how you feel if you don’t eat a balanced diet, or get enough sleep. You become sluggish, perhaps short tempered and generally out of sorts. You get more run down and then other things can start to get on top of you. If you don’t look after yourself, you’ll find it difficult to care for others or to manage your work life. Eventually, something will tip you over the edge, probably something tiny, and you’ll explode. Or implode.

A combination of things building up can lead to you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s important to recognise when you are reaching this state and having coping mechanisms in place.

What causes stress?
All kinds of things can cause stress. It could be due to your work situation, family life or a big life changing event, such as a bereavement or separation, even a positive event such as moving house. But worrying and trying to manage everyone else’s expectations is difficult and exhausting, especially if you’re not investing time in yourself.

Indicators of stress
None of us reacts the same way to any situation. And so the signs of stress can differ from one person to another. Common signs are having trouble sleeping, losing interest in exercise or eating healthily, not wanting to socialise or often feeling on the verge of tears. One early indicator of stress and overwhelm to look out for is becoming forgetful and making mistakes.

Be kind to yourself
Without doubt, you need to look after your physical side to keep mentally strong too. Exercise can be massively beneficial, even a short walk three times a week. Getting outdoors is beneficial too. Some people find meditation is useful for calming the mind.

Talking helps because it can lessen the burden and let you start sharing your problems and feelings. Often the hardest thing is to have the initial conversation, but once you have opened the lines of communication, you will start to make inroads to managing your stress.

Being kind to yourself also means sometimes having to say no. Don’t automatically say yes to everything if it’s going to cause you more stress – you will be the one who ends up suffering and then your stress ripples out to affect others around you.

And try to embrace the natural light. It may be a change of season, but always keep looking for the light, even on darker days, and relish the sunny, crisp, autumnal days.

How can I help?
I can listen and we can talk. If you reach out for help and support, I am here to give it. The hardest thing is to make that initial contact so simply drop me a message or email and I’ll take it from there. You can speak freely in all confidence and I will listen with no judgement. Together we can find a path through and discover ways of managing any stress or overwhelm you’re feeling. Talking to me is the perfect example of looking after yourself and you will feel better for having someone who listens.
Contact me via email and I’ll get back to you to arrange a time to talk.