Investing in you

A cuppa and a good book or three…
*Photo credit to Sarah Shanahan*

Why is it as women; wifes, mothers and daughters, we find it hard to take the time to invest in ourselves. Our needs, whether it be; exercise, having a massage or a facial, quiet time (away from the family), lunch with our girlfriends or reading a book. Taking time for ourselves seems to be the last thing on the list.

Recently I have been having slightly annoying back pain. So during the ensuing treatments, physiotherapy etc, I have been chatting. It is a re-occurring theme. Before we do anything for ourselves and our physical or mental health we will; go to our paid job, clean the house, fold the washing, buy the groceries, cook dinner, do jobs for the kids, our husbands or partners and even our parents (if we are fortunate enough to still have them around). For some reason we are last and if you are anything like me there is always something else that has to be done around the house before I let myself go for a walk.

I love the idea of getting up early so I can have some time to myself. As my ‘handsome farmer husband’ is an early riser that means I need to be getting up at 5.30am. In winter it is cold and dark and did I say cold. Honestly, I am quite happy to lay in my nice, warm bed and watch the sun come up. Being up and dressed and doing Yoga and meditation at 5.30am rarely happens. Sorry, that is a complete lie, it never happens. The intention is there. So is my intention to walk 30 minutes every day, eat raw foods, drink more hot water and less coffee and not indulge in alcohol. All very good intentions I must say.

Currently my spare room in the house where I can do some yoga or exercise is full of clothes drying on a rack. (See previous blog). Therefore, no space to stretch. Unfortunately the washing needs to be folded and put away before I can get to my stretching and or yoga. Is that just an excuse? Yes, probably. Is it just my self-discipline or is it because it feels self indulgent to look after myself?

It seems that I am not alone. The women I have been talking to find the same thing. I wonder, is it because we have had children who have been reliant on us for 20 years, for some mums and grand-mums actually more. Is it generational, did we see our mothers doing everything for their husbands and family and nothing for themselves? Is it maternal instinct from thousands of years ago for the woman to support the hunter and food provider and to protect our offspring so that the human race can continue to survive.

I am sure all women are not the same but I have been seeing it everywhere, in all age groups. Only when all the ducks are in a row, then do we have time to do ‘our thing’. Why can’t we just leave the house to go for a walk before dinner is cooked? Why do we feel the need to get everyone off to work and school before we do our Yoga stretches. Why do we have to get up earlier than all the family to do Yoga? Why do we feel responsible for so much? What does it take for us to invest in ourselves without feeling guilty? It is very obvious to me that if I am not healthy and happy then the whole family unit is affected but I still tend to put myself last.

So my new intention is to do at least 10 minutes a day of something for my physical and mental health and well-being and if that is sitting down to have a cup of tea and a block of chocolate, then so be it. I will work my way up to 20 minutes of yoga, meditation and even a walk.

Have a lovely day and do something for yourself. I am now going to boil the kettle and hunt down some chocolate.