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Who is taking care of you?



If you were anything like I was in my younger years, you didn’t think about “self-care”. Because you didn’t need to.


I didn't deliberately do things that nourished my physical, mental, and emotional self. I just did them. Life was different in my 20s, 30s and even 40s.  Without even realising it, I was regularly doing the things that make me feel my best self.


These things were mostly aligned with my core values. Of course, back then I was completely unaware of what these even were!  I just knew that when I did certain things, or spent time with certain people, I felt good.


It was in my late 20s, into my 30s, that I began to study Shiatsu, then Yoga. I was learning, I was helping, I was connecting. Some of my main values were being met. I also began to dance regularly – salsa, tango, and whichever dance floor I could find! I was having lots of fun, and I felt healthy.


Although I had a full-time “9 to 5” job, I spent lots of time outdoors. Often in the mountains. I was active and outdoors, with good friends.  


I had a strong core “tribe” of female friends and we spent a lot of time together – we were in many ways like family to one another, most of us living far from ours.


It was a lovely life, and I miss many aspects of it. But there was a longing for something that I didn’t have – which I do now. Freya. 


We have different phases of our lives. Each one brings their own gifts, as well as challenges.


The past few years for me have been some of the most challenging, as well as the most fulfilling.


Isn't it interesting, and wonderful, that contentment and fulfillment can exist alongside challenge ?


I have felt like I have been surviving, rather than thriving. We all have periods of our lives like this, for a million reasons. 


It has been – and still is – a time of transition, adjustment, and acceptance. This has been needed, but now I know that I need to move into action.


I need action now to move me forward. I need to prioritize my own "self-care" - which is many things. 


I no longer have the freedom in my life to just get out for a hike with a friend, to join a restorative Yoga class, or to go out dancing some evening. Creating and giving Yoga classes and workshops used to be so natural and easy for me. But now it takes more effort, and energy. 


But all of these things I have missed enormously. On a practical level, I know that I am in a different phase of my life right now. I am also at a different stage in terms of my age – I am at the menopausal stage so I need different things to what my younger self needed.


I need to take care of me. For my own health and wellbeing on every level. I need to get back to the things that make me feel good.


So, I have slowly been making some changes in my life, taking small steps to take care of myself. To feel better on every level. In the words of my friend Denise, step by step I go.. 


Some of my steps, and commitments to myself include:


  • Getting up an hour earlier - sometimes less - each morning to do some gentle Yoga with Shiatsu acupressure points, and meditation. Sometimes I write in my journal.

  • Getting out for a 20 to 30 minute walk alone most days. The exercise, the fresh air, the light, the headspace are much needed. This has been more challenging for me but most weeks I get 2 or 3 walks in. It’s not a lot compared to where I was before, but it’s a lot better than nothing!

  • Doing something once a month that I love, and that makes me feel good. A sauna, cold dip, and a walk and talk with a friend have been my thing.


  • Joining a weekly fitness class, where Freya can join, and has her own hour of fun and games too!

  • Practicing healthy boundaries. This is with myself, as well as with others. It means saying no to some things, and yes to others. Work in progress.

  • Getting back to teaching my Yoga again. I took a complete break from last October, as I felt very depleted and stressed. Feeling more restored now, I am now able to support others. I am so excited to be hosting a special morning of Yoga & Shiatsu on 24th March in Greystones – Revive & Restore. For more details click here.      


  • I am also enjoying getting back to writing my articles, like this. I hope that you are enjoying the odd read, and I hope you find a little of something that you need right now.  


Finally, I will leave you with a question - Who is taking care of you? Who can you count on most to give you that care?  I think you know the answer.  


If you find it challenging, like me these past years, to commit to taking care of you, begin with one small step. Start small, make it happen. Begin today.


 

Kerry White is a Motherhood Clarity Coach, supporting women who are contemplating pursuing an alternative path to motherhood.


She is also a Workplace Wellbeing Facilitator, Speaker, Shiatsu Therapist and Yoga Teacher. Kerry is especially passionate about supporting women feel well on every level - physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.


Read more about Kerry here. 


PS Kerry's next event, Revive & Restore, on Sunday morning, 24th March, in Greystones, Co Wicklow, is a mini-retreat for body, mind and soul. Some spaces still available. More details here.

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