Thoughts on Self Care Week
In my early teens I became heavily involved in rowing, which required numerous weekly training sessions both on the water and in the gym. This continued through to university where I was equally competitive.
Whilst my time in boats is now restricted to recreational moments, I have never stopped working out. My week is filled with Pilates, yoga and Gyrokinesis together with bike rides and long walks. This daily physical exercise together with a practice of two twenty-minute meditations helps me stay the best I can be both physically and mentally.
I’m fortunate that this programme is part of my life, and I feel very strange when I miss out on physical activity. My meditation is something that I rarely miss. It’s not a disaster if ‘life gets in the way’ – as it can sometimes do – but I certainly notice the difference if I don’t meditate, and it’s likely those around me notice too.
When I was in India earlier this year, I spent three months in isolation with a small group of friends and teachers. Our daily programme did not allow for physical exercise, which was replaced with a great deal study and meditation.
The effect of stopping exercise was not immediately apparent to me, but as the weeks went by and my metabolism dropped it was an effort to go for a stroll, even for twenty minutes.
Over the years, I have noticed that as I get older my fitness falls away quicker when I take a break from exercise, and takes longer to regain. It has taken me over six months to get back to somewhere approaching my former level of fitness, and that’s with a lot of carefully planned work. It’s going to take me a while longer to get all the way there, but I’m on track.
Next week (13th-19th November) is Self Care Week, an annual national awareness week that focuses on embedding support for self care across communities, families and generations. The theme this year is: ‘Embracing Self Care for Life.’
I believe that physical, mental, and spiritual self care are the three essential ‘legs of your stool’, giving you stability and – just like that piece of furniture – lightness and portability which lead to ease and spontaneity.
With this in mind, I invite you take some time today to examine how you look after yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Speak kindly and honestly to yourself and determine one step, however small, which could help you develop in each ‘leg of your stool’.
Over the next week, work out how to put these three steps in place. Resolutions for the New Year are rarely successful, so why wait? Take action today, right now, without prevarication, to set up a routine that looks after your own wellbeing. Soon, you will have in place the elements to help you establish and maintain self care for the rest of your life.
If you'd like to find out more about Vedic Meditation, including how to incorporate a regular meditation practice into your daily self care routine, book a place at one of our free, no obligation introductory talks in Brighton or London here.