Taking Care of Yourself in Order to Flourish

Photography:Diana Brandt Photography

By Mandy Rees

I came across this quote today and it really resonated with me: 

‘What we focus on expands’.  

This is so true. I’m sure you’ve seen that meme? In one box, the plant is being watered and flourishes. In the other box, it’s in dry soil and has withered. 

This is exactly what happens to a human if they are not watered and nourished. We often look to others for that nourishment; we are all responsible for ourselves. That means that it is your responsibility to make sure that you are being regularly and lovingly watered.  

What we focus on expands

Ask yourself (with kindness), are you spending anywhere near the same amount of time looking after you as you spend looking after others? I’m guessing not because most women I work with don’t. 

It’s impossible to feel emotionally secure and grounded if you don’t love yourself or, at least, have a path towards loving her. Time to like being in the skin you’re in, my lovely! No-one is going to love you in the way you deserve if you don’t love yourself, because you’re not demonstrating to them that you are worthy of being loved. 

From where you are now, it might feel impossible to change anything about your current situation, and people continually talking to you about ‘self-care’ feels like another job you have to add to your already full list. Can I suggest a different perspective? 

This is more about noticing your feelings instead of putting them to one side, asking for help where you can, giving yourself permission to slow down and talking to yourself with kindness. I promise that you can fit these things into your life as long as you make a commitment to yourself to do so. 

  1. In acknowledging how you feel, you become less judgemental of yourself. Less judgement means less guilt and that is always a good thing. Noticing your feelings at any moment also becomes your natural pause. It’s OK to feel happy, angry, uplifted and frustrated. What’s not OK, is to push those feelings away. They can’t be hidden forever and will surface, probably not at a helpful time.  

No-one is going to love you in the way you deserve if you don’t love yourself, because you’re not demonstrating to them that you are worthy of being loved. 

All this takes is a moment to say to yourself, ‘OK, so I’m upset. I can’t deal with this right now but I am acknowledging that this is how I feel’. You might come back to it later. There might be someone with you that you can talk to. Whichever, you are giving yourself a loving, non-judgemental space and often this is enough to diffuse the intensity of the emotion in that moment. 

  1. Stop rushing. Yes, there is always something to do and there are deadlines to meet: at home and work. There is pressure. However, rushing increases your heart rate, puts pressure on your physical and emotional system and often leads to mistakes being made and things being forgotten. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve rushed out of the house only to realise I’ve forgotten something pretty essential, like my purse or meeting notes. Give yourself room to breathe. Stop by the door and double check you have all you need. Walk to the window when you feel overwhelmed and take three long breaths with your hand on your chest. Feel into that connection between your body and your mind. 
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