Most of the people who finds & reads my blog (thank you everyone), usually finds it because they are looking for a way to help someone they love. The vast majority of my clients are parents and they want to make life or school or homework easier for their child. Without exception they are all busy people and even finding the time to come to see us at Hummingbird Learning Centre adds to their busyness.
Parents always stay during the session. There are a number o f reasons, child protection of course but mainly because I believe that it is really important that the parents see their child overcome their difficulties and succeed. And parents love it, at least they do when they are awake!
For some parents, the hour at Hummingbird Learning Centre sometimes becomes an opportunity for them to zone out and relax and it is not unheard of for some to take a well earned nap!! The kids giggle as they hear mum or dad gently (or occasionally loudly) snoring on the couch. When the parents wake up, they are always mortified and start to apologise but I remind them that they wouldn’t have fallen asleep unless they were comfortable that their child was safe & happy and that they themselves obviously needed to recharge their batteries. I say to them that it’s time to “take care of you!”
Easier said than done Elaine I hear you call, and yes it can be difficult to carve out time for yourself, but it’s not impossible!
The way I see it is to consider these 4 areas: Self-talk, Expansion, Friends, and Body.
The way we talk to ourselves forms our view of the world. Keep telling yourself that you don’t have time and guess what – You’ll be 100% right. Change the words you use and you change your entire world. Choose the words you use. If someone asks you to do something that you really don’t want to do and you say maybe, then you have committed yourself to it against your will. Just say no. Consistently saying no to things you don’t want to do means that when you say Yes, people know that if you say yes, then they can count on you. Say no and you will find yourself with a lot more time on your hands.
Listen to the voice in your head – it is with you 24/7 and usually is our biggest critic. It’s the voice that makes you feel guilty when you put yourself first at times. It’s the nag that tells you that you don’t have time for yourself. Well it is time now to shut that voice up!! You decide to change the words that you hear in your head and one of the best ways to do this is to keep an ‘I am Good at..@ Journal. Write down one thing every day that you are good at and start to watch how that voice in your head changes.
When we have children, it is amazing how quickly our horizons shrink. And in many ways that is a good thing. Children make us focus on the present but it is important to look beyond parenting and keep working on our own development.
Keep up your own education. This doesn’t mean that you have to go back to school; education & learning are not confined to courses. You can travel and learn about new cultures. Can’t afford travel – read travel books, watch documentaries, learn a new language with the Du0lingo app. The internet makes it so much easier for us now.
Stuck in the car a lot, ferrying your kids around? Get a book on CD or download an audio book and listen to it as you drive. Read a book on your Smartphone or tablet while you wait for the kids to finish whatever it is they are doing. Disconnect from the time suckers (albeit very enjoyable time suckers) such as Facebook or Instagram or the one I can lose hours to – Pinterest.
Physically meet your friends as much as possible. Go and have coffee with them. They know you best and are best placed to help you chill out. We are social animals and need that human contact. With modern life it can be so easy to lose physical interaction with people. Sometimes social media means that we have more incidental contact with people than ever before, but end up losing the intimacy of a close friendship. I work from home and I make sure that I meet friends for coffee at least twice a week. Listening to them takes me out of my own head. We laugh, we joke, we get serious, and we talk. Conversations beget other conversations. We realise that at times we all have issues with our kids and our spouses and there is solace in that. Other times we get to celebrate our kids & our spouses and there is great joy in that.
Some friends though, can be total energy vampires. You know who those ones are. They bitch and moan and are only happy when wallowing in others misfortunes. They will tell you all about what’s going on with them but won’t ask you about your life. Once you talk about yourself or your family, they bring the conversation back to themselves. Watch out for these people. They are stealing your energy.
You need to get rid of them out of your life and it is easy to do so – without ever falling out! All you have to do is stop feeding them. If they start to bitch about something, be non committal. You will find that they gradually move away from you once they are no longer getting the response from you that they need. Use really positive language when with them – this drives them crazy and they will move on to someone else who will give them the negative energy that they crave. You will find your energy levels will soar when you are no longer around them.
This was my issue and when I relapse occasionally into negativity, this is the area I find myself in. I eat crap, then I feel crap, so I eat more crap. Then I feel really crappy so I don’t want to exercise because I’m tired ( I’m not really tired, just experiencing sugar highs & lows from eating crap food). Then I’m not sleeping properly because I’m not physically tired and round & round it goes! It is amazing how many excuses can be found for not looking after ourselves properly, but getting off the crap roundabout only takes one step! One step and you are off the roundabout. All you have to do is decide to step off and then do it. Not try to do it – Do it.
To look after myself, I took up cycling. It was amazing how much time I could find for cycling that I could never find for going to the gym! I still hate the first 10km of every cycle and want to give up but now I tell that voice in my head to shut up. I joined a local cycling club and I’m surrounded by friends. First thing I do before every spin is find out where the coffee stop is going to be- I love the coffee stop. I read up on cycling and plan trips & holidays around the bike. I eat better because I need to fuel my body properly in order to cycle.
Am I the world’s greatest cyclist? Far from it. Does cycling solve all problems – no, but it can come pretty damn close for me at times. When my lungs are in pain & my legs feel like lead, I can’t focus on anything else and in that moment all of my worries have disappeared. Cycling does it for me but if you don’t want to cycle something else will do it for you.
You already know what that is …. just decide to do it and take care of you!