Anxiety, Facilitation, heart-centred, self care

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November 27, 2020
Why self care routines don’t last. Let me ask you this. Do you really ‘believe’ it’s necessary?

Let’s talk self care. Most of us think we should do more self care. There is some wisdom in this thinking.

Having a ‘self care’ routine is something we either religiously stick to, studiously ignore, or really worry about depending on what story we want to tell ourselves in the moment .

If you have great self care you don’t need to read any more. But if your lack of self care is a worry to you, read on. 

Whether you see your approach to self care as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy,’ any belief you hold that starts with a ‘should’ will only take you so far.

Then you will give up, get bored, or run out of willpower and good intentions.

Somehow you don’t really believe deep down that it’s necessary to look after yourself. Recognise this?

A change of heart doesn’t involve willpower.

When we have a change of heart about the way we have been treating ourselves, really taking care of ourselves makes sense. It’s a realisation.

When we really believe that we matter, that we are ‘enough’, we experience a shift in our consciousness. When that shift comes, it comes from the inside. It suddenly makes sense to us to make different choices, to look after ourselves.

I’m sure you have experiences when you started doing something that was ‘good’ for you or you just stopped doing something that wasn’t healthy for you such as smoking, bingeing, over drinking etc. You just stopped out of the blue, with little effort.

We’ve all had those times when we can’t explain it – it just made sense in that moment for us make a different choice. That’s not will power at work – its insight, a change of heart.

So we can get started with self care by pursuing ‘activities’ and ‘things’ outside of us – routines, bubble baths, yoga, healthy diets, walks in nature – and, don’t get me wrong, those can be wonderful things to experience.

Embodied change is not a ‘should’ – it comes from a deeper place.

But whether or not we ‘do’ these things, it’s worth remembering that embodied shifts come from within, when it really makes sense to us to do so. Not because we should or because we are making ourselves do it. And when things really make sense to us, change becomes effortless.

So if self care is an issue that concerns you, instead of working out what you ‘should’ be doing perhaps go a little deeper. Start by working out what really makes sense to you. Not what you should be doing. Then do that. You will know if it feels right.

It’s subtle shift in approach but powerful and it can make the world of difference.

If it makes sense – to go on a diet, join a yoga class, take a walk in nature – do it. If it makes sense to sit quietly for a bit – do it. And if it feels good and brings you peace of mind, do more of it. And if it doesn’t, don’t.

No problem. Just don’t fret about what you should be doing (and what isn’t happening). Just look towards what brings you peace. It’s that simple.

You know this already

I know that you know this already, but often we lose our direction and get out of touch with what makes sense to us deep down. Our heads get very full. We worry – we make plans, we try to fix ourselves. And this makes things worse, problems become more intractable and more worrying, stress builds.

You’ll realise you have everything you need.

When you take the pressure off, you’ll find you will re-calibrate. You will settle and you’ll get in deeper touch which what makes sense to you. You’ll realise that you have everything you need, without adding more to your list.

You can feel reassured that as humans we are alway looking to come back to our wellbeing. We just need to get out of our own way.

So, my message to you is, do more of what brings you peace of mind, and less of what doesn’t. Bit by bit you will be re-discovering what you need, what is true for you, and what makes sense – for YOU! 

Let me know what you are hearing. I’d love to know what you think!

If you want to explore working with me further, I’d love to have a conversation with you. My work is all about helping people to get in touch what they already have – wisdom, creativity and peace of mind. You can contact me here.

About the author 

Sheila Preston

I am Dr Sheila Preston, a transformative practitioner with over 23 years’ experience in education, community settings. I have trained and supported hundreds of socially engaged artists and practitioners. Now I help brilliantly courageous practitioners who are working with communities who are experiencing difficulties in their lives and/or who work in challenging settings* These practitioners are committed to working in a heart-centred, relational way with vulnerable or hard to reach communities. I help these amazing practitioners get out of survival mode and THRIVE so they can lean into their heart-centred practice, and lead social change without burning out! I am committed to finding affordable solutions for on-going coaching or support for practitioners which is why I developed the Thriving Facilitators Membership. *settings such as, prison and probation, schools and universities, pupil referral, day centres, SEN settings, mental health, health care, social services, neighbourhoods.

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