This week I am going to talk about Self-Care, and how it is important, and it is not just about booking yourself a massage… although that helps, and of course I’d love to see you!
This month marks the one-year anniversary of when I broke my arm. One minute I am collecting a fluffy bunny from her run in the garden, next I am laying on the ground having witnessed my right arm bend backwards on itself. Off to the hospital I go, and find that although it is broken, it was straight forward. Not requiring any surgical intervention or even a cast. I like to joke that it was my ‘lucky break’!
The upshot of that little story is, I learnt a lot about self-care during the recuperation process. I had to have six weeks off from work, in order for the bone to heal and the muscles and ligaments to recover.
I was in a mode of forced rest, I could not do anything with ease, I needed help getting dressed in the mornings. I became adept at using my left hand for everything, but it just was not the same and I was clumsy at basic tasks. This gave me a lot of time to think, and to consider my situation. It was difficult to study, my attention span was shot to pieces because I was in a lot of pain, and it was difficult to hold a book.
Very quickly I realised that I was in sole charge of my recuperation, and that I could choose to sit and fester or move and thrive. I chose the latter. I attended twice weekly circuit training classes from the week after I broke my arm. Holding weights in my left arm and modifying exercises where necessary. I firmly believe that being so active was key to my recovery – I was back working at the six week mark with no restrictions or pain.
Self-Care is for everyday
Self-Care is not just about the big-ticket recovery situations though, but about the every day. You have a lot of companies out there shouting to get your attention, with most of them geared towards self-care and telling you what to do to achieve it. You do what they tell you, and you still don’t feel any different, and you wonder why you bother.
Self-Care is different for every person. For me, regular exercise, walking, reading, and alone time to recharge does it for me, and some weeks I need very little, and other weeks I need a bit more. Keeping myself accountable and completing my workouts each day is vital, as well as walking and moving enough each day.
When I was recovering with my arm, I was upset that I could not have each day as I wanted it. So I had to design my days around a new, but temporary, routine. I was immensely tired each afternoon and required a nap just to function into the evening. So I got up early and walked into town every day and twice a week I had a wash and blow-dry from a local hairdresser. While I was able to stand under the shower to wash, washing and drying my hair was a lot trickier. It was a treat that perked me up each week. I would then choose something ready made for lunch and walk home, watch a little something on the television and then nap.
Afterwards, my family would be home, and I would spend time with them. Around all this, I realised that my days beforehand did not have enough time for me, outside of being a wife, a mother, and a businesswoman.
My self-care nowadays looks different, I can blow dry my own hair again for a start!
As soon as I was able to get back to work, I shaped my days around what I knew I could physically and mentally cope with. Along with dedicated time each morning to exercise without feeling like I had to rush into it, or worse, forgo it altogether because something else had come up. I also had allotted time to focus on business duties that come along with owning and running a business. And sometimes, I just need to go for a walk to reset things or do a hard workout if I am feeling anxious about something.
Most of all, self-care is about your emotional well-being, and this is where my expertise in massage comes in…. aha, I can hear you wondering just how or why my expertise in massage comes in with mental health. Your body works in synergy with your mind. Every thought, feeling, and physical experience, is stored in your soft tissues. Manually releasing the tension in your muscles can be a way to release stored emotions and allow you to process them, feel lighter, and ready to tackle your life.
Tense shoulders don’t happen all by themselves you know.
I have some experience with working with clients who take on counselling at my suggestion. The combination of a physical treatment along with that works wonders for undoing years of pain their body is experiencing. Pain that has previously been covered up with painkillers and other medications. Having a self-care plan in place can help minimise and avoid getting into these situations in the first place.
What can cause these situations though? Childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, accidents, abuse…. You name it, if it causes you to have an emotional reaction to it, it could bring muscular tensions with it. Similarly, with an accident, your physical tissues will heal in accordance with how you deal with it emotionally.
What does your self-care look like? A bubble bath at the end of the week? A film, popcorn, friends getting together?
Whatever you do, include exercise and physical activity to look after your body. Endorphins released during exercise mean you are more capable of putting that self-care routine into place, and sticking to it.
Thank you for taking time to read my blog, and if you think that massage could be part of your self-care routine, don’t delay. Book in sooner rather than later to secure a time that suits you and your routine best. Get in touch or use my Booking page.