The end of the year is fast approaching, stress levels are high and the Christmas lights are starting to come out (is it just me or does it get earlier every year?) before things get into in a frenzy perhaps it’s a good time to pause, to be still, to regroup. Life is fast and if we are not present in our day to day living it whirls by at a rapid rate. This constant treadmill that we find ourselves on is not conducive to our mental and emotional well-being.
October is Mental Health Awareness month in South Africa. Reflecting on my own mental state doesn’t always paint a pretty picture, my mind is a monkey mind, always thinking, spinning thoughts of should have, could have, would have, not enough. I, like a lot of people I see in practice, am very hard on myself, seldom giving myself a break. Living like this is exhausting and takes its toll on the body. This year has been one of pushing my boundaries and stepping out of my comfort zone in a big way, at times it feels exciting and liberating, other times it feels terrifying and it makes me want to pull the duvet over my head and go back bed.
This pushing of boundaries has caused an internal stress that has wrecked havoc with my health. I have always been a healthy person so it is quite foreign for me to find myself on the other side of the desk in the doctors rooms. However perhaps it’s been to remind me to take time to pause, to reflect and to recognize how far I have come and what I have achieved. Perhaps it’s reminding me to up the self care and find compassion for myself. I’m a giver by nature and it is natural for me to have compassion for others, to love others and to put their needs ahead of my own. Yet it is not a sustainable way of living, eventually your tank runs out and you are left empty. So I am learning to be gentle with myself, to love my whole self, to plug in some radical self acceptance and cultivate some much needed compassion for myself.
May you find time to care for your own well being in whatever way that works for you, be it a gentle yoga class, a walk on the beach or a swim in the sea. Whatever lights up your heart do that.
“Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Fall in love with the path of deep healing. Fall in love with becoming the best version of yourself but with patience, with compassion and respect to your own journey.” S Mcnutt