I’ve been struggling a bit the last couple of weeks. The start of July is always a little tricky as it marks the anniversaries of too much loss for our little family. We lost M’s awesome mum on the 2nd, my dad on the 3rd and then today marks the anniversary of when we lost my mum.
This year was a weird one as it marks 19 years since I lost my dad. Soon I will have not had him in my life for longer than I did have. That feels strange. It’s feels so painful that they never saw me as an adult, they never met my children, Dad never got to vet Michael (I am pretty sure he would have approved!!), they never got to be the ones that we took on holiday, I never got to thank them (because as a mum, holy h*ll, I now see how much they went through as parents!!! And I’m just getting started!)
The thing with grief is that it doesn’t matter how long it has been, it can still jump up and knock you right off your feet. And you need to let it. Because if you refuse to turn towards it it will come back - and this time it will be stronger, uglier and it will keep you on the floor.
I have done a lot of work to get to where I am today and I am proud of all that I have created, with my family, and with my wellness business. But it takes daily work for me to be well. I can’t become complacent about my wellbeing because for me it is my mental health that is the first to be impacted when I am tired, depleted and run down. For some folks it’s a sore throat, catching a cold, perhaps aches and pains. For me it is a low feeling, a heavy mood I can’t shake, and it keeps me pinned down if I am not careful.
That’s why I named my business ‘Essential Self-Care’ - because looking after myself self is not a nice added extra, a luxury or a frivolity. It’s completely essential.
Here’s what I do when I need to up my self-care (which I pay extra special attention to at this time of year):
Sleep: For me, when I am feeling the pressures of grief or busy life, I need more sleep. This can sometimes mean napping during the day but it definitely means getting to bed early. Naps can make people feel so guilty - but if you need to nap allow yourself this little pleasure and give yourself the rest you need.
Nature: When I feel low it can feel like I never want to walk out of my front door. But getting out for walks amongst the trees, down by the river is healing in a way that I find it hard to explain. IT feels like the most primal part of me being connected to a source of power that is far greater than me, than any of what has happened, and it restores me at a soul level.
Yoga: My hips don’t lie (thanks Shakira… if only I had your dance moves…) - my emotions sit in my hip joints and the pain I feel is always a telltale sign that I am holding onto something emotionally. I find yoga to be the perfect antidote for this as it gently enables me to release whatever it is and be more in the flow.
Oils: Balance, Balance, Balance. doTERRA’s grounding blend has held my hand so beautifully over these last few years. It brings me back to earth, it helps me see a way through and it holds me in its forest-like embrace. Others I love when I am deepening my self-care practices are Geranium, Rose Touch (all over my heart chakra), and any of the citruses (to pull me out of the funk).
Meditation: Stillness is what I crave at these times and my meditation practice offers me this. I get frankincense in the diffuser and some beautiful music on and sit for a while, however long it takes.
My own company: Often I see posts about surrounding yourself with people at these times, as you need to be wary of becoming disconnected. I agree with this on a level - we are social animals and we nourish ourselves by being with the right kind of people that lift us up. However for me when I am in need of deep self-care this often looks like me, on my own, taking care of my own needs and putting myself first. I have finally reached a place in my life where I feel unapologetic about that. Thank God.
I would love to hear from you what you do when you need to deepen your self-care, to see you through - please comment below.
Sending love (and permission to nap),