Monthly Archives: June 2011


Do you value yourself enough?

People with a talent for living give their physical and mental health a high priority. They exercise, meditate, go to yoga, pilates or dance class, play sports. They take time to recharge their body and nourish their soul.

When I visualise my ideal life, I am one of those people. I would go for a jog on a Monday, maybe join friends at  Zumba class on Wednesday and do training in the park on Fridays.  I would make time for ten minutes yoga 3 times a week, and even fit in some mindful meditation. And of course my diet would include double the fruit and veg and a quarter of the chocolate. Not to mention a cut in wine intake. I would stimulate my mind with much time spent on hobbies, meeting friends and reading.

My reality is usually quite different.  While I recently had some success introducing exercise and healthier eating into my life, going on holiday has set that back a bit. Generally when it comes down to each decision I take throughout the day, I often overrule my ideal self.  Instead, I seem to value spending time working, checking emails, or getting the house clean, over things that will really make me feel happier. I know that they will make me happier and healthier, yet I don’t do them.  And I know from speaking to friends and clients that I’m not the only one who does this. Why is this?

Here are a few possible reasons:

  • We don’t value ourselves – and our physical and mental health – enough.
  • We don’t focus enough – ie we get distracted, we go for instant gratification over hard work, or long-term goals.
  • We find it difficult to change habits, especially ingrained thinking patterns.
  • We are scared – we don’t want to fail, make mistakes or make a fool of our selves.
  • We are too busy trying to prove we are someone else rather than allowing ourselves to be who we are.
  • We don’t realise (or we forget) that many of the goals we aim for will not solve all our problems and make us instantly happy.
  • We worry about what other people will think of our lifestyle.

I am sure there are many other reasons, like laziness, unexpected events, being human, even being spontaneous, that distract us from our idealised life.  Maybe a big one is expecting that an ideal life is possible anyway.  I know personally, and I hate to admit this, that one of the biggest reasons that I don’t give enough time to my mental and physical wellbeing is that I’m constantly trying to ‘prove’ myself in other ways to everyone – including myself. So this means I am chasing achievements rather than valuing myself enough as I am.  Sounds crazy written down in black and white, but there it is.


If only I could just reboot…

I seem to have arrived home from my family holiday with my energy, motivation and patience levels at rock bottom. I can only see the mess, clutter and jobs to do around my house, my children are constantly annoying me and can’t do anything right, all I want to do is sleep or read a book, my work feels overwhelming, I want to hide away from the world, and my computer problems make me lose the will to live.

Basically, I’m not a very nice person at the moment. I have turned into a snappy, irritable mum who resents her children, because she’s tired, frustrated and angry.  Considering that I thought my life was running along pretty well before I left, and I’m fairly sure I used to be an upstanding, conscientious considerate member of the human race,  I’m a bit surprised and disappointed by this turn of events. And it’s lasted a whole week now, so I can’t blame it on jet lag or the holiday blues anymore.

So, what to do?  I wish I had a reset button which I could press to take me back to how I was feeling before my holiday.  The daily habits that I had in place then were obviously working pretty well, but I seem to have lost them all now. If only I could reboot myself like a broken computer, maybe the glitches in my life would mysteriously disappear. But alas, I am not a machine, I am a human being and it’s all a bit more complicated.

As a human I will need to reset myself another way.  I need to recharge my body with more sleep, less alcohol (I’m still in holiday Gin and Tonic mode), healthier food and exercise. And I will need to nourish myself by taking some time for me (for pleasure not work) to counteract the constant demands made by the children. And I’ll need to just get on and deal with it. I keep telling my kids to stop complaining and be grateful for having such a wonderful life.  Now I need to take that advice and practice it myself.


Savour the memories

A couple of weeks ago I came across the Mother’s Day Card that my 9 year old son gave me in March.  It had been in a pile of other cards and drawing that the children had done, so I rescued it and placed it on the window sill.  Every night I look at it when I go to bed and it makes me smile.  As my son would say, ‘It makes my heart feel good.’

Research has shown that people who savour the good things in their lives feel happier than those who don’t.  And the good news is, we can savour a single experience in three different ways.  Firstly we look forward to it, then we experience it (make sure you are present in the moment if you want to savour your experience as it happens) and thirdly, we have our memories to look back on.

What are you going to savour today?

And for the mums and dads out there: check this website out for a novel way to savour your golden memories. Don’t they look gorgeous?