Self-care or self-Neglect?

Check your self-neglect

We talk so much about self-care. We exercise, practice mindfulness, stay away from toxicity… But there are so many other ways we neglect ourselves, even though we wouldn’t let this happen to our loved ones.

Examples include:

  • Wearing the same old wrecked trainers even though we have other new and appropriate ones
  • Wearing old, worn, torn underwear and ‘lounging’ clothes when we have lovely, nice looking, comfortable ones we can wear
  • Not taking pain relievers when in pain, electing to suffer instead – ‘it will pass’
  • Saving nice perfume to ‘special’ times
  • Not going for health checks, dentist appointments and opticians when needed
  • Eating unhealthy food and ready meals despite cooking healthy meals for the family
  • Sitting in a cold house even though you can afford to turn the heating up…

Self-care involves caring for ourselves in the real sense of the word. It includes not ignoring ourselves and doing something about the little aches and pains we experience. It includes sleep, nutrition, fun, satisfaction.

What are the things we would do for those we love?

Why aren’t we doing those things for ourselves?

Get in touch

What a year we have come through. We have had all sorts of issues to battle with leaving us feeling lost and wondering which way to turn. you may have reached a fork in the road where every decision seems the wrong one.

I am here to tell you that you do not have to go through it all alone.

You might have reached a point where you have pondered on the things that have happened to you in the past, the decisions you have made and the situation you are currently in.

I can help you explore all these issues and help you make sense of why things are the way they are for you. I am an Integrative psychotherapeutic counsellor and together, we can make meaning of and effect change in your life.

If you think I could be the one to help you, contact me.

Let us begin.

Do it now. Not tomorrow, now.

We planned a lot for 2020 that we didn’t get to do. You couldn’t make that night out, couldn’t start that course, didn’t see that long lost friend, didn’t begin therapy, didn’t check out that mole, didn’t join the gym, didn’t start that class…

Of course you planned to. It was taken out of our hands by Covid.

Constant planning to do things ‘later’ is really just doing NOTHING now.

If it’s important to you, do it NOW.

I wish you a fulfilling 2021 where things happen, dreams come true and goals achieved.

Bad news

Bad news is like an addiction. We know it’s bad for us but we can’t help but reach for it. This is tied to our human need for survival. We want to know where all the danger is so we can protect ourselves or run from it. Our ears perk up the moment we hear something has gone wrong somewhere (even if it’s on the other side of the world).

The problem is that we weren’t made to receive bad news all day every day 24/7. Our anxiety is at an all-time high and we can’t relax for any length of time before we must worry again. Meanwhile, the news stations are smiling all the way to the bank.

You have to make a conscious decision to stop being available to bad news. There is so much else going on that is worth focusing on, so many good things that we miss because we are waiting for catastrophe.

Some actions you can take today:

  • Change your default TV channel to something else, be it nature, comedy, music or whatever else.
  • Unsubscribe from ALL news feeds and set one alarm to listen to the 6pm news only (or whatever news is reliable) for half an hour.
  • Fill your social media feeds with other things you are passionate about and that will put things into perspective for you.

Life is not all bad news even though the 24hr news cycles tell us it is. Take a moment to notice that most things are going right for you, proven by your ability to read this post.

Have a great week!

It’s all you.

We all have different sides to us. As we move through life, we seem to do what is possible to show just our brilliant sides. We try to be kind, generous, interesting, fun, caring, loving, helpful, balanced and reliable.

But what happens to the other side of us that we have completely disowned? That side that is angry, hurt, mean, spiteful, moody, depressed, insular, anxious and the other qualities we do not dare express?

That is still us. While we try to move further away from those parts of us, they remain there, stewing in our shadow.

That is until it all explodes when our guard is down, when we get hurt or when we simply become tired of carrying such a heavy load.

Getting to know that other side of you is the key to becoming the true YOU. Bringing your dark side out of the shadow by exploring the contents safely with your therapist will allow you come to terms with how you became who you are. You will slowly become aware of your true nature and teach yourself to make different choices that will influence your life and the people around you.

Your kind, confident and wonderful side as well as your dark, moody and unpleasant side are both still you.

You can be YOU without needing to be only half you. You can live your life, embracing all parts of you and giving yourself the chance to live life to the fullest.

Think you would like to have therapy with me? Contact me here

Self awareness, the key to strength

It isn’t the storm that causes the damage. It’s the nature of our internal structures and how we have learned to cope, that determines how chaotic things will be. It will also determine how quickly the storm will pass and how we will recover.

Your job is to develop awareness which will enable you respond to challenges in a different way.

Be patient with your struggles. Be patient with yourself.

The ‘strong’ need care too.

When Chadwick Boseman stared in the Action-filled sci-fi, Black Panther, he was strong, brave, majestic and inspirational.

And he was battling cancer.

It was a surprise when the world heard he had died. Not many people knew he had been unwell, never mind dying. He appeared so strong and full of cheer.

Don’t assume the details of someone else’s life experience. You may never know what people are going through except they tell you.

Many carry very heavy burdens, yet offering the best parts of themselves to us. They try to ‘be’ good, so you can ‘feel’ good.

Check that you aren’t taking those around you for granted.

Be kind to each other and to yourself.

Reflective Journalling

I never know how to start a new journal. I always buy the one that appeases to me the most, one that I can caress and love, one that I love to look at, one that will represent me accurately. When I get it, I’m usually careful about what I put on the first page.

Do you draw a flower? A squiggle? Do you just write? Do you leave it blank?

However you choose to start, just go ahead and start.

Journalling helps you detangle the knots that form in your mind by giving you the opportunity to state them out on pen and paper.

You get to know yourself better as you record your likes and dislikes, your wants and desires, the things that have hurt you and what has lifted you.

Writing about painful feelings such as sadness, hurt and anger enables you dilute the potency of those emotions and allows you the space to deal with them.

If you don’t already write in a journal, I encourage you to give it a go. You may be amazed by the results.

If you journal regularly, what have you learned about yourself?

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Did you do all the things you had planned to do during lockdown?

Today feels like independence day in many parts of the UK. Restaurants and bars can now open, hotels, holiday resorts and caravan parks can operate. Most people can return to work.

It makes me think of all those things we thought we’d do during the lockdown.

I know I had a list as long as my arm – books to read, courses to take, ideas to research, decluttering projects, gardening. I didn’t do a quarter of those things.

I used to blame my inertia on lack of time. We can all safely delete that excuse. Having no time was the least of most of our problems.

During this time, I watched (and chatted with) my neighbour as he single-handedly built a large den. I saw the decking go in, I saw the wood panels, the insulation, the roofing, the plastering… Now, it’s like a separate house in his back garden.

As for me, I just didn’t. I didn’t want to. I just followed the days and did what felt necessary, fulfilling and fun. For me, that included decluttering and rearranging my house as well as polishing off box sets and watching tik-toks with my daughters. I feel good about that.

What have I learned from this?
Nothing stops us from doing the things we really want to do. If it is within our power to, we can get them done. We don’t need a 3-month lockdown; just need a clear mind and a desire to achieve that task.

As lockdown draws to a close, I’m taking a look at my list and continuing. It is my desire to achieve the goals I have set for myself and I will have what I’ve decided that I want.

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Are you looking at your to-do list, unsure where to start? There is no magic pill to give you the motivation to clear all your tasks. I encourage you to make a decision to get moving.

Pick one thing – the easiest maybe – and start. It doesn’t matter what you choose to start with. Just go ahead and make a start.

 

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Be willing to ask for help whenever you need it

Be willing to ask for help when you need it.

Asking for help is one of the most difficult things for most of us to do.

We fear it demonstrates weakness and failure. We refuse to see our tough, capable facade fall away from us.

But what if we can admit that we are human and that we are fallible and that we can get tired or that we can become lost? Acknowledging that some burdens are too heavy to carry alone is not weakness but strength.

We wouldn’t hesitate to ask for help if we had to lift a car from one point to another. Trying to do so alone, is simply pointless and would damage us. Same with carrying many of life’s loads.

Strength is distinguishing what we can manage on our own and what we need help with. We are then able to share that load with those that are willing to help and conserve strength and build resilience for the future.

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As you start the month of July, have this action point in mind: Ask for help when you need it, whenever you need it.