LEARNING TO LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
Is It Time you Started taking More Care of Yourself?
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you’ll have no doubt seen a good few posts in the last few years about my health, my quest towards a better work life balance, and importantly my desire to get more active, less stressed & generally live a little more mindfully. One thing i’d say is that I’m very good at talking about the things I know I need to do to improve my health, but in reality, less good at committing to them! Of course I’ve made improvements, I’ve managed to find a better balance with work and me time, i’ve slowly started to get de-stressed through my yoga and pilates and i’m certainly more considered with my social diary (#notsorry), but I have a long way to go.
After suffering from yet another migraine this weekend (frustratingly at one of my best friends weddings too) it was then my friends, jase and even my friends parents commented on how poorly I look after myself!
Initially I was thrown. I mean I felt like I had made such big improvements that surely I was looking after myself better now than ever! But truthfully when I dug a little deeper, they had a point! Despite living with bowl disease I realised I hadn’t taken my daily and life long medication for the last two weeks. Let alone actually adapt my diet to help my symptoms (and stop saying yes to gluten filled goodies which I know I shouldn’t eat). Despite knowing about my friends wedding for over a year, I still had a last minute panic due to a sheer lack of organisation (giving myself time is not something I’ve learnt yet). Yes my yoga helps but the tensions i face require far more action than I take, not to mention some actual cardio to shed this 1.5 stones which I fundamentally hate). And at nearly thirty years old I still have not managed to suitably water and feed myself … having breakfast is one change I am making immediately. You get the picture?
Put simply it’s the basic care I seem to forget about. Drinking enough water, looking after my bad tummy, giving myself time to rest, fuel myself and prepare for the things I need to do! Don’t get me wrong I’m not starving and living in debt, it’s more just that healthy lifestyle that I know I need to give myself and prioritise.
So with that in mind. Here I go again with my acknowledging of the situation and my promises to sort things out! I’m confident I can do it, and I have three healthy habits already in mind which I truly hope will make a difference. To me, and maybe even you too, because I’m sure I’m not the only one right?
THREE HEALTHY HABITS I’M COMMITTING TO
Small Steps To Better Look After Yourself
MY SLEEP ROUTINE
I’m sure I’m not alone with the morning struggle. For me most mornings look like a 45 minute snooze, a mad panic to get my train, and a sweaty sprint to the office, usually resulting in a 40 minute late arrival. I’ve tried to be better, but I can’t. I am constantly tired in the morning. I barely function before 10am and the thought of getting up with time to have breakfast, a cup of tea and maybe even a 20 minute work out is laughable.
But one thing I’ve realized is that this morning routine is setting me off to a bad start everyday.
First of all it’s not helping stabilize my blood sugars which I know hinders my migraines, it’s certainly not helping me balance my work life balance with my constant lateness, and really it’s not eliminating stress, it’s adding it.
I’m not going to promise myself a 6am start, a morning yoga session and a hearty breakfast every morning because I know I won’t deliver on it. But what I am promising myself is a better bed time. I’m going to start hitting the hay at 10:30pm so I really am getting a good amount of sleep. I’m going to give myself an hour to get ready in the morning – it will mean waking up earlier, but it will importantly mean I have time, time to do whatever I need to do! And I’m going to start having breakfast …
Which leads me to healthy habit number two. My diet.
Now i’ll start by saying this: Generally speaking I am a very very healthy eater so ‘diet’ is a funny one for me. However the regularity of my eating and my evening portion sizes are an issue. I also am not the most religious person regarding my need to cut our gluten, which clearly isn’t helpful especially given my UC. And Alcohol is also a sore topic.
I’ll start with the first issue which is my regularity. As mentioned breakfast is non existent. I’ll run on coffee until mid day before hitting starvation around 2pm. And my evening meal is what I live for, which inevitably means I eat a portion for 4 people (a healthy meal, but probably way too much)! I’ve never eaten breakfast, i’m not hungry until 11am earliest, I don’t have time and I don’t really want to eat more (I know I know, stupid mentality). However I’m starting to come around to the idea that breakfast could be quite a simple solution to not only my energy problems but also my migraines AND my desired weight loss (according to theory). So I’m committing to some breakfast alongside my daily coffee, starting today!
Secondly, gluten! Now gluten has become a rather hot topic in the last few years, it’s an ingredient that almost seems fashionable to cut out. But trust me when I say embrace gluten if you can! I’m intolerant, not celiac, but was advised to pretty much cut it out 6 years ago. I would say on average I lead a 85% gluten free diet (i’ve never eaten bread on the regular, it’s pasta and sausages that let me down), but I am renowned for over indluging on special occasions! The problem with that is that special occasions can become regular, and before I know it i’m doubled up with stomach issues! Add to that the problem of bowl disease, it’s fair to say i’ve not customized my diet to better help my problems! A friend at work is a nutritionist and was gobsmacked I hadn’t been advised to change my diet after being diagnosed with UC, so with her help i’m hoping to make some positive changes to what I eat, and not just how often!
And finally alcohol. It’s been a problem since I first discovered it. I’ve never been able to properly digest it (the UC revelation explained A LOT), it makes me exceptionally sick the next day (and I mean really sick) and it also makes me fat. However, I enjoy it, I love the process of celebrating with fizz or enjoying a bottle of wine with my friends and my job means social events and parties are a regular! This isn’t about cutting out alcohol, but it’s about being careful, being hydrated enough to tolerate it, and choosing my drinks and quantities carefully to avoid a day spend in bed worrying I might not make it through.
Oh and water. I must must must drink more bloody water.
I’m the girl that’s always late. For everything. I’ll be late to my wedding and my funeral i’m certain. I am terrible. I’d like to blame my mum as we’ve always been late, but the truth is i’m old enough to manage my time better and i’m still useless. I never allow enough time, I always end up running behind and I am constantly stressed as a result. but it’s not just that … it’s prioritizing time for exercise, time for myself, time out with Jase! It’s saying No to protect my time. It’s saying yes to myself and my own time needs.
The irony is I am very organised and time proficient at work (it’s something people often comment on), but it’s almost like I use all my energy up inside the office and so my time management outside of work falls by the wayside. I commit so much time and energy to my career (I have got much better at this I should say). I often forget to prioritize that time to go to the gym, or to actually relax before work starts, or rest, or run my errands, or simply fit in a massage every now and then!
I am a total contradiction in and outside of my work when it comes to time, getting things done & running a tight ship!
My personal life, but more specifically ‘my life’, is always what slips. And I know I need to change this! My #NotSorry revelation was a revolution, but there’s more I must do to give myself the time I need to be mindful, well, healthy and balanced. The morning and bed time routine is part of it. But perhaps a little being a little more demanding and protective of my personal time is what I need to do! If only just to give myself time to actually look after myself! And just time out, time on the weekend to do nothing, time away from the blog, away from work, away from others demands, time to just sit, walk, potter and be! More time at the beach …
It’s a funny topic, one I’d love to know if you relate to or not. Most my friends around me are totally together and have a wonderful and much more healthy lifestyle and balance. Whether it’s a regular morning routine, a healthy gym habit or a better perspective and balance as a result. Yes I have good career success, but do I have good heath? No! Not even close! And really what is life without good health? I’ve accepted the truth, and I’m going to start trying to make improvements today!