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TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF

May 18th, 2015 by Suzanne Sweeney

We’ve all heard the aeroplane safety announcement reminding us to ‘put on your oxygen mask first….’ before helping others, highlighting that to take care of others we must first take care of ourselves.

Recognising for many of us, and for those we are working with, the winds of change are blowing faster than ever before, managing our own well-being in this context can often be really challenging. We can put ourselves at the bottom of the list of who needs caring for, trying to help others before ourselves. Whilst this selfless approach can be admired it is not always the most successful strategy to keep ourselves going. Securing our own personal wellbeing before helping others is probably a more sustainable and proven remedy to cope with some of life’s challenges.

From an early age we are taught three simple words to take care of ourselves when crossing the read – STOP, LOOK, GO.  We were chatting with the team the other day and thinking that you can apply these same three words to make sure we don’t get knocked over by the stresses and strains of life today.

STOP:

Take a break and give yourself 5 minutes to….. have a cuppa, take some fresh air or perhaps you’d like to have a go at ‘My Life Pattern’ and see how life is shaping up for you just now?  My Life Pattern 

 

LOOK:

Explore which dimension of your life – working, learning, playing or giving you feel needs particular care and attention just now. What do you need to do for you?

 

GO:

Set yourself just one small, manageable step that will help you and help you to take care of yourself – what’s it going to be?

 

Working with clients and colleagues over the last few months these are a selection of some of the GREAT ideas that some of them have done to take care of their own personal health, resilience and wellbeing:

 

GIVING – doing something for others 

‘I have been volunteering to take an elderly man out for a pint every Tuesday night and recognised that during this really difficult period at work, it had been the only thing that had kept me afloat. It has given me a real sense of identity, meaning and purpose.’                                                               

Paul, Director, Youth Charity

 

RELATING – Connecting with people

‘I recognised in trying to keep going at work that the trigger for me finding a more fulfilling role was to have an honest conversation with my line manager about my skills, motivations and aspirations. I did it and am now in my ideal job and feel 100% better about things.’                                                                                                                

 Jane, Careers Advisor

 

EXERCISING – Taking care of my body

‘Going swimming with my daughter has broken a terrible cycle of slobbing out every weekend after another challenging week at work.’                                                                     

Health Promotion Officer

 

APPRECIATING – Being grateful for what I’ve got

‘I took your advice and bought myself a diary, have tried writing three things I’m grateful for each day and now have a record of things to counter the negative thoughts that can jump into my head, as we go through the next few weeks and months.’ 

Kevin, Operations Manager, Shipping Company

 

TRYING OUT – Learning new things

‘I’ve resisted buying a new handbag and yet another pair of shoes and instead have used the money to invest in me by enrolling on an NLP course. It’s been so interesting to learn again.’

Helen, Mum

 

Perhaps you can take some small steps to take care of yourself, let us know about your “GREAT” story.

 

 

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