Caring For Yourself Through GriefSelf-Care and Self-Development
Caring For Yourself Through Grief
I’m writing this blog after spending the last twenty four hours in my favourite country: Wales.
Whilst there I had a lot of time to think about what makes me happy. Partly because I had pretty much zero signal and minimal distractions.
I finished work early on the Friday and made my way to Wales in a campervan with Sam Jones Fitness. We camped up in a quiet field in Dolgellau with the plan to venture up Cadair Idris the next morning.
The past weekend has been filled with things that make me happy. And that’s why I’m writing this blog all about self care. That and because Sam and I did a pretty epic podcast on it earlier this week, which you can listen to here.
Eat Your Food And Smile
My relationship with food has been pretty erratic since I was young. I’d say I was only about 13 when I started becoming obsessed with the way I looked and what I deemed as ‘healthy’ foods.
I’d go through stages of banning myself from anything that I craved and instead attempted to fill myself up with food I didn’t even like. Only to then binge on pizza, chocolates, sweets, takeaways for a week once I caved.
So when this didn’t work I’d try and curb my hunger with polos and chewing gum in an attempt to eat as little as possible. Obviously this was never going to work and I’d just end up binging again.
It was a vicious cycle.
This didn’t change until this time last year. Until finally I took more control and responsibility for what I was putting into my body and how I was treating it.
We need to stop punishing ourselves for eating the things that we enjoy. You want to go out with your friends and order a large pizza? Do it. You want to sit in and enjoy a film with a bag (or two) of your favourite sweets? Do it.
Sam Jones introduced me to his favourite phrase last year and it’s something I’ve now fully ingrained into my life:
If we want to enjoy what we’re consuming over the weekend then it’s important to take control of what we’re eating during the week.
Spend Monday to Friday eating food that’s good for our body (and less of it if you’re hoping to lose weight) and then you can enjoy what you crave without feeling so guilty about it.
No one wants to feel like shit for enjoying a bar of chocolate.
The great thing about doing this is that you actually start to feel good about yourself too.
The food eaten during the week is good for our bodies and our mind. You wouldn’t believe how strong the link is between nutrition and our mental health.
If you want to find out more about that then read this book given to me by Sam: Genius Foods by Max Lugavere.
Do The Things You Love
We all know exercise makes us feel good, so why don’t we do more of it?
I think part of the reason is because people think that they have to go to a gym. And let’s be honest, gyms aren’t for everyone.
But there are other things you can do!
I love walking. Whether it’s going for a casual stroll or a hike up a mountain (just like I did this weekend). Nothing makes me feel better! And the views once you reach the top of a mountain are TO DIE FOR.
Working life can make it really difficult to get back into doing stuff like this. I signed up to a local team and it’s the best decision I’ve made in a while and I’m loving mixing up my exercise!
Unfortunately this isn’t something I’ve been able to do for a long time because of money. But as soon as I’m able to I’ll definitely be starting it up again. Nothing makes me feel better.
Sure, it’s not for everyone. But having a workout that I enjoy and heading to the gym 3 or 4 times a week does me a world of good. A stressful day at work?Feeling overwhelmed or anxious? Go to the gym.
Love The People That Bring Out The Best In You
Spending time with people that make you feel good is the most important thing of all. I literally can’t stress this enough.
When we’re young it seems like the more friends we have the better we are.
I feel like it takes us longer than we would like to realise that this isn’t the case.
Quality not quantity, right?
My friends and my family are the most important people in the world to me. And every single one of them bring something different to the table.
My family give me the emotional support that I sometimes need more than anything. Whether that’s calling them at ridiculous times of the night needing someone to talk to. Or driving over 100 miles to see them just to get a hug. I know that they would do anything for me.
Some people don’t have this type of relationship with their families. And this is where friendships come in.
So many of my friends are more like family than anything else to me. They’re there for me all the time when I need them and I know that the amount of love we have for each other exceeds anything.
I have friends to shop with, to eat with, to watch movies with, to party with and to go on crazy adventures with.
Keep these people close to you.
How Do You Spend Your 9 to 5?
We spend the vast majority of our lives working 35-50 hours per week in a job that a lot us don’t enjoy.
How does this make sense? Why do we do it?
I feel like the biggest reason is fear. Life is so unpredictable and our jobs are the only constant thing we have. And what if that stability were to go?
I think we need to realise that our lives are fragile. Every decision we make has a direct effect on how the rest of it pans out.
Don’t look back in 10 – 20 – 30 years wishing that you had jacked your job in earlier and chosen a different route.
Take action now.
Your future self will thank you for it.
The Self-Care Rundown
I think the biggest thing to realise is that you have to be selfish to be happy.
Pick the friends you love, pick the family you spend time with, choose how you spend your Monday to Friday every single week. Fill your body will food that nourishes it. Don’t forget that your body and your mind are not separate things. To feed one is to feed the other. We have to work in sync.
Do the things that you love.
One of my favourite things I’ve heard lately is that it’s okay to take yourself on dates.
You don’t need to go with someone else to do something you’re going to enjoy.
Time by yourself is precious. It helps us to love ourselves.
Put Yourself First
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