I have to say I don’t feel very qualified writing about health and wellness as an overweight, unfit 44 yr old. I’m now 7 years post-babies and still looking rather pregnant! My determination to change lifestyle rather than go on countless diets has definitely been a slow process of change and not the route you want to take to fit into your summer bikini, but after 7+ years of exploring, studying, experimenting, reading, following mentors, joining facebook groups, youtube learning, etc, etc one of the recent and most important lessons I have learned is this… if I dont take time to self-care, I will be forced to take time to self-comfort. Let me clarify what I mean by self-care and self-comfort in the context of my life…
Self-care – reading, journalling, arts and crafts, mindfulness, meditation, prayer, counselling, exercise, sleep, healthy eating, friendship, hobbies, playing, pampering, dancing, singing (The latter two in a behind closed doors kind of way haha)
Self-comfort – netflix binging, tiktok/youtube binging, social media binging, late nights/late mornings, gin, processed foods, sweets, chocolate, coffee, jammy days, procrastination.
Dont get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with self-comfort, when it’s your choice to do it. When it becomes a need or when you get to the point that you are so exhausted all you can do is self-comfort, that is a barrier to happiness. If you regularly feel done or life has become a cycle of working really hard to stay on top of everything to feel accomplished then crashing, burning and watching your home crumble round about you, then maybe thats a sign your self-care needs arent being met. Having your own needs met may seem like a foreign concept to those who are caring for families with additional needs. I absolutely get that and I am first to put my hand up and say I deserve self-comfort with the responsibility I carry, but the truth is it doesnt make me happy. It masks the pain of not meeting my own needs and expectations; not doing the things I love doing that give me a sense of purpose and value; not being creative when I believe we are all born with creativity. Self-comfort makes me tired and sick and sick and tired.
I have a lot of hopes, dreams and plans. I cant pursue them in a balanced way (ie without bulldozing my family and home needs) unless I am mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually well. So for me it’s time to make that lifestyle change. I’ve been planning this for a long time and transitioning from self-comfort to self-care over the last few months has not been easy but it is so worth it. For those of you who are interested to know the steps I’ve taken to transition to self-care, I will share a bit more throughout the next month.
For the month of March I will be walking 10000 steps a day to raise money for charity and at the same time I will be embarking on a shake the sugar programme with a brilliant nutritionist Marie Jarvis, founder of tip top tums on facebook.
A big part of my motivation for change has been the awareness of the death of two young women unknown to each other but both who tragically died after battling cancer, leaving behind young families. I’m a Christian so I dont fear death, but I do want to be the best version of myself so I can live the best version of my life while I am here.
Follow The Hopeful Carer on facebook if you want to support or hear more.