Life is so busy these days, with many of us juggling jobs, childcare, relationships and caring for ageing parents amongst other things. This can lead to us feeling worn out and overwhelmed. Sometimes it feels like being busy is the new black.
So why do we feel so guilty about spending time on ourselves? Busyness has become a social status. Society makes us believe that we have to be busy to be successful, and if we have spare time to spend on ourselves then we must be failing.
A lot of us feel the need to seek permission to relax. As one of our counsellors put it – ‘It’s like our identity is wrapped up in what we do rather than who we are’.
It’s a vicious circle… More and more people are suffering with anxiety, often due to stresses linked to work, but it’s usually the pressures of our workloads that are stopping us from spending time out doing the things we enjoy. If we invested time in ourselves, the likelihood is that we’d be less anxious.
It’s too easy to fall into the trap of saying to friends ‘oh, I’m too busy to do that’ or ‘I was working til midnight last night’ and we forget to reach out and connect with our loved ones face to face. I’m personally really guilty of this!
Take care of yourself first, or you will have nothing left to give to others.
Having read Psychologies magazine’s article about relaxation retreats where they sent some readers to some beautiful spas, to rejuvenate, relax and learn to love themselves again, it’s made us here at the clinic think about how often we should be looking after ourselves.
Looking after ourselves can mean anything from meditating to taking time out to read that book you’ve been meaning to start for the last three months, or even just going for a coffee with a friend. It’s so important to spend time on ourselves, so that we have the vitality and energy to give to others.
Find out what your ‘thing’ is, and make time each week to do it. For me, it’s taking my dogs out on a long walk somewhere in the countryside, I find it so therapeutic. For some people, it’s spending time baking or cooking, or practicing yoga, or treating themselves to a massage. Whatever your preference, make time this week to do it, and I’m pretty certain you’ll start to reap the benefits.