3rd Article in our Autumn series by Joanne Crisp

The Consequence of Busyness

Did you know it’s now proven that more than 90% of diseases are stress-related? Mental illness has now overtaken cardiovascular disease as the number one health concern according to the World Health Organisation. Ok, so we have a problem here people, and it’s not going away!Whether it’s been my work in the Corporate arena, or my wellbeing work in yoga, yoga therapy and Ayurveda, I’ve witnessed and helped many stressed out individuals – myself included!

With so many competing demands on our time, energy and attention – whether that’s juggling work, study, relationships, children, family and community/social commitments – it’s no wonder we’re all stressed out! And no wonder we find it difficult to carve out time for taking care of ourselves.

I’m deeply concerned for our community, for the parents and children who are growing up in this current culture which worships at the altar of busyness.

 

You are a priority

If you have ever suffered from niggling or ongoing injury or illness, stress, overwhelm, anxiety, low mood, low confidence, lacking clarity or just feel like you’re juggling way too many balls, then this message from my heart is for you…

  • You are enough.
  • You will always be enough.
  • You matter and therefore so does your self care.
  • Self care is NOT selfish. It is not a waste of your time. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
  • Self Care is the most selfless thing any of us can do.
  • Because only when we are truly caring for ourselves, can we really express our full potential in the world.

 

Leaky Bucket Syndrome

You can’t give from an empty or leaky bucket. And it sure as heck ain’t fun! You know that feeling like you’re pulled in all directions, you’re not doing anything well enough and there’s very little left over for you.  It feels like you’re just keeping your head above water at times.I used to see this “leaky bucket” syndrome in Mums all the time, but now I’m seeing it in Dads too, as well as right across all ages. Sadly that means in young kids as well who are often over-scheduled, stressed out and socially pressured like never before.

I used to suffer from it too – and still work at it on a daily basis to manage it. Because if I don’t, I know the consequences will quite honestly be devastating for myself, my family and friends, as well as the people I serve. I have personally found the sciences of yoga and ayurveda to be the most profoundly practical and supportive self care tools around. That’s probably why they’ve stood the test of time for literally thousands of years!

 

Self Care is Self Love

Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Let’s do this together! Through the revolutionary act of self care, which has self love at its core.When we come from a place of love within ourselves, all of our thoughts, words and actions carry that powerfully positive intentional energy out into the world. We show other people how we want to be treated by leading by example (goodbye not enoughism, resentment or martydom). And we set the bar for how we can be in relationship with others and importantly, model this to our kids and the next generation.

I wholeheartedly promise you, that if you take steps today to care for yourself in small but consistent ways, you will reap the benefits – not just for yourself, but for every relationship you’re in. And no-one can do it for you, as much as you might want them to be your saviour. Ultimately, you are responsible for yourself.

I reckon no-one will call you selfish. It’s just in your own head. And if they did, that’s their business, not yours and I’d suggest they aren’t very good company (see Tip 3). In fact, people will probably want to know what’s your secret as they see you showing up healthier and happier, you know, glowing. It happens to all my yoga students and ayurveda clients – and me!

 

Getting Started

Here are 10 simple (and little or no cost) tips:
You may have heard some of these before. They are not a complete nor exhaustive list. But sometimes, we need to hear things a few times before it actually sinks in and we take action, and remember the self care we used to do. The simple things really work! Just pick one or choose your own, but just do it!
  1. Pause to take three big deep belly breaths before you eat your three main meals.
  2. Make appointments with yourself. Schedule into your diary non-negotiable weekly activities that nourish you – exercise, yoga, friends, massage, time in nature (a local park will do!), whatever fills your bucket. Brainstorm a list if you’re not sure anymore! You wouldn’t not show up or cancel on a best friend, why do that to yourself?
  3. Keep good company. Reflect on the people who make you feel good about yourself, and book in time to see or speak with them on a regular basis.
  4. No devices before breakfast or an hour before bed. This is sacred time for you to unwind at night and gather yourself for the day without distractions. You’ll be more grounded, energised and productive I promise.
  5. Pick a flower or beautiful leaf from a garden for your bedside or desk.
  6. Take a bath, or soak your feet in the kids bath!
  7. Flex your “no thanks” muscle. Practice saying no to offers or requests.
  8. Spend uninterrupted play time with kids or animals. Nothing brings you to the present more quickly.
  9. Listen to your fave music.
  10. Look at some photos of fun times you’ve had with family or friends.

I could literally go on. But who needs bigger ‘to-do lists”?! Be kind to yourself, as you start to make small steps in the right direction. It will take time to find the right balance. Let it be a lifelong dance of discovery with yourself.

 “Self care means giving the world the best of you, rather than what is left of you”