This month during my Fresh Air Fridays sessions we have been exploring what we do in our lives for our own self care so we can feel energised and show up in the world at our best. Many of us are brought up to put the needs of others before our own, over time this can drain us and leave us burnt out. Spending time looking after our mental and emotional health is as important as looking after our physical health.
We had some great conversations around what we do to look after ourselves, the ideas ranged from small things we can do every day to re-energise, to our whole way of being.
I’ve been a member of Fresh Air Fridays for over three years and still remember the excitement of the first time I explored this theme, thinking of the things I love to do that I had forgotten about. It’s been fabulous and very energising doing the things I love again, including knitting, jigsaws and spending time reading.
This year however, I noticed that I didn’t want to find another thing to add to my to-do list. I am keen to start sewing again as I used to really enjoy this when I was younger. Over Christmas I got my sewing machine out to lend to my daughter, this hasn’t been used for over 10 years. I felt a bit sad when I first got it out and couldn’t immediately remember how to thread it. Once I had sorted it out and did a bit of sewing to check the machine so my daughter could use it, I had re-connected with my love for sewing. It could have been really easy at that point to start a sewing project which I would have really enjoyed.
Instead, during the Fresh Air Fridays sessions I stepped back and reflected on what I’m doing already this year and realised that adding another thing to my list of things to do even though it is something I really love, was going to make me feel overwhelmed and stressed, just the opposite of what I wanted to achieve. What I’ve done instead is decided to create more space in my week so I can enjoy what I already love and will start a sewing project once I finish my course in September and have some more free time.
What I’ve discovered whilst exploring filling myself up over the last three years is to listen to my body and notice when I’m feeling overwhelmed and need to step back and take some time to just enjoy being me. Self-care is all about doing the right thing at the right time that will fill us up and leaving us feeling energised and ready to get on with enjoying life.