By Megan Spragg RMT
Caring for Yourself - or as it's known - Self-Care.
Does the concept of self care evoke pictures of smiling yoga classes, runs in the park, massage or meditation in the quiet, then leave you feeling slightly dismal because you have no idea how to fit any of that into your life let along motivate yourself to take part in those activities? Well you are not alone - that is totally me!!
For my journey I've had to rethink this construct of self-care that is marketed to the world at large and work out what this is for me. I'm a busy mum, wife, business owner, musician and therapist - self-care will look unique - as it will for you too, whatever your life involves.
If you are like me and have or are struggling with this concept of self-care then let me encourage you with a few things I've learnt along the way.
Self-Care will be different for every person. Some like to walk, to run, to exercise, some like to sit in a cafe with a peaceful coffee, some can make a point of having a cuppa after breakfast before getting on with their day, some like to get outside, some like to read a book or listen to a podcast or sing along with a favourite album.
True Self-Care is about putting little things into your day to day life that replenish you, that allow you to breathe.
Self-Care activities should always give you energy not take it away or leave you feeling discouraged.
Regular space for Self-Care allows you to work/give out your best and most creative self.
Allowing space and time for Self-Care without feeling guilty has a great impact on the others around you, they notice when you are truly taking care of yourself.
For me I had to realise that while investing in courses or events that give me tools are a valid part of self-development, I function so much better in my everyday life when I allow myself time to not feel guilty about having a lunch break and sit on our deck, with lunch or a coffee and a book for 30 minutes in my day. Or when I allow myself to take a break from work or home life and go for a walk around the block, or get out in the garden, or go and have an uninterrupted shower or get a little creative and make something for someone else.
I have also had to acknowledge that in my busy world sometimes Self-Care involves others, sitting outside while my daughter plays or reading a book while she watches TV are completely valid for any busy parent. These spaces not only allow me to recharge but also teach my daughter the value of taking time for yourself. 'Mummy is just having a break for 10minutes.'
Interestingly as I've made a concerted effort to be intentional around this my daughter is also developing her own ways of caring for herself, bringing out bubbles while we sit on the deck, having a drink with me while I have a coffee and engaging in imaginative play in the garden. This in itself brings delight and joy to our world.
This journey is one that is always changing and evolving and one shouldn't be afraid of trying new things along the way! Be encouraged in your journey - little steps make a big difference in your ability to become a much healthier version of you!
Megan Spragg is the Director Sounding Board Music Therapy, she is a busy mum, wife, musician, registered music therapist and business owner who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She has a passion for encouraging others in their work.