Self Care

Small habits to wellness

Journal entries…

12th January 2017

“Still feeling exhausted. Aching knees and ankles. Still finding my balance, thinking about the future and how to look after the family while looking after my mind and spirit. At the moment on days off I am feeling so tired that I don;t really achieve anything. On my work days it’s ok but I want to feel I know where I’m going. I’m also looking after my mum (she was having a benign skin cancer removed), encouraging Jack (Jack has M.E) and Lily. I do feel like I can’t keep all the balls in the air and need some sort of routine.”

Friday 13th 2017

“Listening to Eckhart Tolle. Live in the Now. I do not need to keep adding to my ‘story’ – search, craving. I have everything in the here and now. Enjoying the now is the answer to fulfillment. I am already complete in the oneness and essence of my being.”

Monday 16th January 2017

“I did a short 10 minute yoga practice today! First time in ages! I just got up and did it! I’m amazed at myself. I had a go. It felt good. I sat on my zafu (meditation cushion), 10 minutes of meditation. Then porridge. And for the first time in AGES – hot lemon. And now I’ve just heard the birds singing. I LOVE IT!

This week I ate five donuts. I was living in the now. The now of donut heaven!”

A year ago I was working as a research midwife, whilst continuing to cover bank shifts in the community, in the NHS.  Two of my children needed lots of support due to what was happening around and to them, and I had started having palpitations and anxiety affecting my ability to be on call. I remember the adrenaline coursing through my veins at top speed at even the mere thought of getting a call in the middle of the night. Luckily I was able to self refer for counseling through the occupational health department, and would soon have an opportunity to understand my own situation, and ways I could help myself to come through this.

Yoga and meditation is something I always return to, yet I can be sporadic and consider myself an innately lazy person. Yes, that could be considered judgemental self talk, but I would actually like to spend most of my days wrapped in a blanket, with a hot water bottle and a cup of Lady Grey, watching Miss Marple.

I remember a time during my period of burnout recovery, when not working in the NHS, where I practiced yoga daily, walked daily to my little job as a classroom assistant, and felt an inner and outer sense of wellness. I yearn for that time as I know the powerful effect of daily routine in my life.

Over the past year I have released the feelings of anxiety that we’re enveloping me, and have been able to return to oncalls, attending awesome birthing women at home. Anxiety can destroy your ability to be yourself, but with support – especially in the workplace – and selfcare we can find ways to reduce, or hopefully eliminate the hold it has on us.

I try to find ways to support myself to reduce my stress feelings at work:

  1. Take a water bottle everywhere to stay hydrated – don’t rely on caffeine as it can make symptoms worse.
  2. Rescue remedy – drops in the water bottle – everytime you take a sip you get hint of the remedy and it’s a trigger to remind you that you’re ok.
  3. Handcream to use throughout the day. I use Bodyshop hemp handcream as I love the smell and it reminds me of feeling relaxed, plus the act of massaging your own hands and arms helps to release oxytocin into your body, which is a ‘calm and connection’ hormone.
  4. I carry my own essential oil roll -on perfume created simply and cheaply mxing a carrier oil such as sweet almond, with my favourite oil – ylang-ylang. It’s a great scent to promote relaxation and positivity, and I just love the smell.
  5. Stop, take time and eat a nutritious lunch. Even when it’s mega busy, plan a lunchbreak. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t check emails. Just stop and take a moment to enjoy your food.
  6. Take one minute to breathe deeply. Everyone needs a loo break. One minute can feel like a lifetime when you stop and be present. That’s the Power of Now – to be in the moment, where at that time, nothing else matters; just for a moment.

I’m still trying to get back to daily yoga and meditation, but these little things can make the difference to how you feel and cope with a demanding life on a daily basis. Small habits can make a big difference.

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