Having gone back to work full-time after a hip injury, I knew that I would have to do things a little differently. I’m a teacher, and tend to spend most of my day standing up, moving around a classroom and writing on the board, but with a slightly sore hip and lower back, I’m changing things up (or should I say, ‘down’) a little.
After years of CFS and heading back into full-time work, often when I wasn’t ready, I knew this time that I was all set. Even my husband, who’s always the first to pull me up if I’ve got my type-A head screwed on too tightly, supported me going back. I’m practising what Cheryl Richardson would call ‘extreme self-care’ at the moment, and I have to say, I’m finding it an incredibly interesting experience. It’s shining a light on where I was giving too much and not prioritising myself a few months earlier. I’ll write more about this in a future post, but for now, let me share with you 5 alternative self care tips that have been working for me recently (trial and error approved!).
Photo by Blair Connolly taken from Unsplash
5 Alternative Self Care Tips
1) Ask for what you want
The people around you aren’t psychic. If you need help, or find yourself resenting someone when they don’t offer assistance, please ask them.
I slipped back into old habits pretty quickly last week. I went in to see my boss to see if he could put me in a classroom on the same level as our teacher’s room, so I wouldn’t have to manage the especially slippery stairs in school. I asked if he could move me, but then went back on myself- I became embarrassed to even be asking, but luckily, he knows me pretty well, so moved me anyway (even though I suddenly felt really ashamed).
Ask for what you want, otherwise nothing changes. Your nearest and dearest probably aren’t mind readers. You’ve no right to get angry at others because they’re failing to read your mind!
2) Let someone else pick up the slack
You don’t have to do everything under the sun yourself. Really, you don’t.
You think you have to, but you don’t.
If you’re someone who believes that your way is the best way, or no-one else can do it as well as you, catch yourself and ask yourself if it’s really true.
If you’re angry and resentful that you seem to be the only one who lifts a finger, ask yourself if you’ve approached anyone for help recently.
We can’t read your mind. (Point 1- rinse and repeat).
3) It doesn’t have to be done right now
As I mention here and here, my husband is the type of person who will rest first, and do a job or task later. Crazy, right?!
Well, he’s definitely taught me that the world will not crumble if I sit down with a cup of tea for 10 minutes before unloading the dishwasher, or that I’m allowed to relax with a magazine before trying to knock off every single thing on my to-do list. Relaxing should be a priority, but these days, we feel we can’t really relax until we do x, y, z.
Why not relax now, and do what you have to do later? It’ll still get done!
4) Stop making up stories
I can’t remember in which book I first read about this, but it was years ago now. I knew very early on in my teaching career that if I attached to all the emotions the students reflected back to me, I’d be a nervous wreck and would be terrified to go into school and do my job.
We create stories in our minds as survival mechanisms, but this isn’t always helps (natural, yes, but not always helpful). I’m very quick these days to detach from the reactions of others and not interpret ‘x’ to mean ‘y’.
On her recent interview with Oprah for Super Soul Sunday, Brené Brown really summed this up well. Are you hooked on a false story?
5) Stop thinking about it
I wrote this post a little while ago, but you don’t have to think about it all the time.
You know, that thing or person who seems to constantly be piping up and making you question yourself? Well…
You don’t have to think about it all the time.
Let it go, distract yourself if you must, but if it’s something you’d rather not thinking about, just stop thinking about it. Sometimes, it really is that simple.
Do you have any self care tips of your own, my love? Share below!
Love, Katie xxx
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