It can be a real struggle to feel able to take care of our own needs and wants when we feel we should be putting others before ourselves so here we tackle it head on.
In this episode we look at:
Pressing Pause Podcast episode 65 Self-conservation – what is it and are you doing it?
Welcome to Pressing Pause. I’m Gabrielle Treanor, a coach and writer, and I’m here to share with you ideas, inspiration and actions to empower you to overcome your overwhelm so you can feel calm, confident and in control.
Hello and welcome to episode 65.
Before we begin I want to give you a heads up that The Calm Mind Club is open to new members to join now. The Calm Mind Club is an online membership where you’ll find resources, live calls, practical tools based in positive psychology, and a supportive community, to help you deal with your overwhelm so you can feel calmer, more confident, in control and, ultimately, happier. We focus on a different topic each month and you get access to everything that’s come before – that’s all the written content, all the workbooks, the downloads and printables and more than 35 hours of recordings including all the live sessions with me and guest experts.
During September we’ve been looking at building resiliency and in October we’re going to be focusing on boundaries – cultivating and honouring them – and we have the expert to talk with us in a live session too.
I could talk for hours about all the good stuff you’ll get and how The Calm Mind Club can support you but instead I’ll let you take a look at the info page, just go to thecalmmindclub.com to find out all about it and join. Doors will be closing on Saturday 3 October so if the Club sounds interesting to you do check it out before it closes.
Now, in this episode I am and I am not talking about self-care. How do you feel when you hear that word? When you read about why you should practice self-care, what to do and how to go about it? Is it a helpful reminder or does it make you roll your eyes? Is self-care something else on your to do list and yet another thing to beat yourself up about for not doing ‘properly’, in inverted commas?
I think the term self-care has become problematic. It can be used to sell products that will magically make life lovely, it can feel indulgent or selfish to practice and even the mere mention of the word can be enough to switch you off.
I feel we’ve lost the true message behind it which is simply to take care of yourself just as you take care of the people you love. To give yourself the kindness, compassion and respect that you give so generously to others.
Caring for ourselves isn’t an optional, do-it-when-you-have-time nicety, it’s essential to our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
It’s self-conservation. So let’s call it what it is.
Conservation is protection, preservation and restoration. We conserve ancient buildings, works of art and natural resources like rivers and forests.
So what about our natural resources? We’re in just as much need of conservation if we’re to live our lives to the fullest. If we’re to live with ease, peace, fulfilment, purpose and joy. If we’re to show up for our family, our friends, our workmates and our community as we want to.
Talking to yourself kindly, giving yourself the compassion you give to others who are struggling is self-conservation.
Honouring your boundaries, saying no when you want or need to is self-conservation.
Switching off social media and getting the sleep you need is self-conservation.
Taking a moment to breathe deeply, stretch your body or cuddle your dog is self-conservation.
Scheduling time to talk with a dear friend, get a haircut or take a walk in the park is self-conservation.
It’s the big things and the tiny things and it’s unique to each of us in any given moment.
Doing what you want and need to feel rested, replenished, safe and energised is not selfish or self-indulgent. It’s protecting you from becoming exhausted, stressed out and overwhelmed, and restoring you when you do feel that way.
And here’s the thing, when you care for yourself, when you tend to your own needs and wants, when you do what nourishes you, energises you, rests and rejuvenates you, when you make time for what lifts your heart and makes you smile, you aren’t the only one who benefits. Because how we are impacts those around us, the people we come into contact with whether it’s family, friends or colleagues, people we talk to in person, on the phone or online.
Think about when you’re worn out, when you feel like you’ve no more energy, patience and you’re all out of ideas, when you’ve been busy saying yes and doing what others want and need, when you haven’t been getting enough sleep or nourishment, when you’ve been on the go non-stop and when it’s all becoming overwhelming.
How do you feel? And what are you like around other people?
Now think about the times, it may have been a while, when you’ve felt rested, when you’ve eaten well and spent time in nature, when you’ve dropped the self-judgement and given yourself a break, when you’ve honoured your boundaries, when you’ve had fun, when you’ve been in flow, when you’ve done what feels good for you.
How did that feel? And how were you around other people? Did you have patience, could you come up with ideas and solutions to problems, could you see the funny side?
This is why the idea that being kind to yourself, honouring your boundaries and tending to your own needs is selfish is complete and utter nonsense. Besides the fact that each of us is simply allowed and deserves to be cared for, other people benefit too. Because they get the real you, not an overwhelmed, stressed out, exhausted version of you.
So you see what we’re talking about here isn’t simply about taking a bubble bath or lighting a scented candle, it’s much more than that, it’s more fundamental to our wellbeing and it’s not an optional nice to have. It’s self-conservation and it’s essential.
Now my question for you is what will you do today to practice self-conservation?
I’d love to know so please do get in touch, you can find me on Instagram where I’m @gabrielletreanor or you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org
And, as I mentioned at the start of this episode, The Calm Mind Club is open to new members to join now. So if you’d like to overcome your overwhelm and feel calmer and more in control with the support of my membership, take a look at thecalmmindclub.com, the doors are closing on Saturday 3 October.
Thanks for listening, until next time, lovely people.
Throughout this website and my work when I refer to women I include people identifying as women.
If you have, or think you may have, a mental health problem that requires professional diagnosis or treatment, please consult a mental health care professional and your GP.
You can also talk to the people at Mind on 0300 123 3393 or SANE on 0300 304 7000 or Samaritans on 116 123.
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