I haven’t written a blog post for a while and last night I bumped into somebody (you know who are) who told me how much she gained from reading my blogs. It made me stop and consider that whilst my mind was immediately making excuses for not writing (e.g. starting some new part-time work, empty nest syndrome, etc, etc, blah and more excusatory blah) all my inner dialogue really needed to do was to stop its noisy chatter for just a few moments. And in doing so, it enabled me to hear what this person was taking the time to tell me: that she really enjoyed reading my blogs and how they made her feel.
I accepted her generous feedback with thanks and gratitude and promised a blog post would be written before the end of the year. At the same time, I also asked the negative, you’re not good enough/excuse-making voice in my head to politely button it. That internal noise often means we miss such a lot. Asking it to be quiet is important and means we miss much less.
So here we are…..on the cusp of the old and the new: the fast approaching end of one year and, in sight, the brink of a brand new one.
And where within the cusp are you as you read this? Are you looking forward to the New Year with excitement as you look back on this one and acknowledge how far you’ve come? Are you reflecting on what you’ve achieved along with recognition of an inner strength you didn’t know you had; one that’s got you through the challenges that this year has brought? Or are you looking towards 2020 with apprehension, uncertainty and fear of the unknown?
In 2019, we will have each faced challenges of our own. And, as human beings we have each found the degree to which resilience has helped us to deal with those challenges. We each lead a life that has a way of showing us the true meaning and value of resilience to our wellbeing.
Whatever this year has brought to your door, it’s time to give yourself a big pat on the back. Physical self back patting is only partially effective or at least it was the last time I tried because you can only reach part of your back! Mental self back patting, well that’s another matter and it’s really important because it extends throughout your whole being.
It’s important because it’s part of our self care: the concept that the management of our health and wellbeing starts with us. This idea was brought to our attention in 2010 by the Self Care Forum in an attempt to reduce the heavy burden that exists within the National Health Service and as a measure to try and safeguard its sustainablity for the future.
For the last ten years there has been a national Self Care Week, introduced intially by the Department of Health but manged since 2011 by the Self Care Forum. Its theme for this year’s November event was Think Self Care for Life. It’s a concept that isn’t just about daily physical care of ourselves and the impact upon us of our lifestyle choices, it’s also about nurturing and cultivating our inner mental wellbeing, the part of us we can’t see but the part we can feel the emotional impact of daily.
And so, to return to self back patting….part of our self care, part of recognising our achievements, be it little baby steps of progress or some of the bigger steps of achievement in our lives. For many of us, it’s the little things that we manage to achieve each day that signify our huge steps of progress. Often, if life has been particulary difficult, putting one foot in front of the other is the biggest of achievements.
Being on the cusp of one year coming to an end and another starting will mean all sorts of different things for each of us but whatever that may be, remember to self-care, to look after your own back, to pat it and nurture it often.
2020 has 365 days in it. Make kindness to oneself present in each one of them. It makes the cusp of one day ending and a new one starting a better place to be.
Photographed sourced on Unsplash.com by Jamie Street