One of my favourite film scenes of all time
Lois Lane- rescued, falling from the rooftop of a building. She looks down at the man looking hot in the blue tights and red pants, carrying her through the sky and cries
“you’ve got me -whose got you?!”.
Little does she know at this point the magical powers of her rescuer, and its unfortunate that in life we cant all rely on Superman to fly down from the sky and scoop us up when we need it.
And it is because of this absence of Super-Heros- that I write a little reminder about the importance of self care – particularly in the cold, dark and sometimes dismal days of the winter months.
I would specifically target this blog at Personal Trainers, as being one, (regardless of how people perceive the role) I know how exhausting the job can be-I work amongst many professionals who ironically often put their own health on hold, to dedicate their commitment to their clients and to succeed in a tough industry which changes peoples lives.
But its not just this industry that can sometimes overlook their own self care with the view to looking after others. Working in any professional which deals directly with the health and wellbeing of other people is tough- there is no doubt about it. Physically and emotionally draining. High levels of responsibility taking. Psychological stress. And it is these professions that get my admiration more than any other. Doctors, Dentists, Carers, Social Workers, Nurses, Counsellors, teachers, Probation Officers …the list goes on and on…. And lets not forget Mums-wives-husbands- children or any family member’s who are caring for others.
If you fall into any of these categories- you will know the brunt this can have on you and it is for this reason that I would like you to try being your own SuperHero for a change. Theres a reason why aviation safety focuses on putting your own Oxygen Mask on first. To care for others- you too, need to be in the best condition you can, to allow you to function like superman.
So self check-
The amount of sleep we ‘have not had’ is almost worn sometimes as a medal. Sleep is without doubt the easiest difference to health and happiness you can make.
A lack of sleep can influence everything from the likelihood of success in a fat loss plan- to happiness/mood, health and immunity to brain function. Aim for a minimum of 7 hours. If you feel you are suffering from exhaustion or are feeling run down aim for extra. Go to bed one hour earlier. Miss that late night TV series if you need to. Take a power nap even if this to rest the mind. You will reap the rewards later on.
-Get your meditation on.
Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting on a yoga mat with legs crossed humming a nice long mantra for hours on end (although there is nothing wrong with that if you have time!).
Meditation can happen anywhere and anytime and that is why I love it. Meditation basically means to train the mind to behave in a certain way. This can range from being more open to compassion for others- to focusing- or simply learning how to relax.
Take 10 minutes a day to switch off and relax the excessive thinking that goes on in your head. Move any distractions (iPhone and laptops away)! Fine a space that indices a little zen! Stare at a candle (this is known to relax the brain). Simply lying down on the floor helps the body feel grounded and relaxed. Even sitting with a cup of camomile staring at the Christmas tree lights helps me feel chilled out after a long day at work.
Check out the below for other ideas for 10 minute breaks.
Get your Greens In
When we are up against it, we are most likely to snack on the go- turn to comfort food (more often that not sugary energy pick ups) or even worse miss meals as we are too busy looking after everyone else. The body can function fairly well on poor quality or a lack of food. This comes at a price and never forget that. The first thing that dips when nutrition is not consistent is immune health. If you are looking after others or in a personal care industry – you need to be in the best condition you can, not only for your own health but also for the sake of theirs!
See Food as the ‘fuel’ that keeps you in the role of looking after those you care about. I’ve known mums insist on feeding their children every green under the sun, only to then eat a kit-kat with a bottle of process for their own dinner! Theres nothing big or clever about a lack of self care when it comes to nutrition. See yourself as a role model to others, who demonstrates how food can make you function like a superhero. Eat all of the colours of the rainbow in natural foods. Make veggies and fruit a priority. Keep good quality protein and fats as a key part of daily meals. Follow these basic rules most days -then you can ditch the guilt when you eat a mice pie as part of your down time.
View Being Selfish as a part of self care.
Now this is a tricky one for anyone in a caring profession. Looking after others is just ‘what you do right’? Theres no time for me ! Wrong. There is always time for you – and part of your health and happiness relies upon in. Have a think if someone was to judge you on how you treat yourself- what would they conclude about you as a human being? Check out the following blog to see the benefits of how a little selfishness is not a bad thing in life. Book that spa with your girlfriends. Take a little you time. You deserve it!.