Modern life is complicated. Full of flippantly called #firstworld problems that still seem to cause genuine stress and anxieties.
We are busier than we imagined possible and our children are more stressed than ever. Our to-do lists stretch away from us, or worse, we berate ourselves for not even writing a to-do list in the first place. Watching the news reminds us of how privileged we really are and leaves us feeling bad for moaning at perceived trivialities.
Headlines shout at us about tired teachers, burnt-out medics, ground down parents and anxious millennials. Stress is very real and present malaise in our culture.
It’s almost a badge of honour to fanfare how busy we are. As if not cramming every minute of our waking day with activity is somehow slovenly. Tiredness is a permanent state of affairs and burn out on the horizon for plenty of us.
Social media offers us help in the form of ‘self-care Sunday’. It’s a lovely idea and, as you would expect there are some gorgeous pictures to match the #. We’ve even been known to use it in our posts.
It’s not enough though. Self-care is not something that should be relegated to one day a week. A sticking plaster for an overfull, overwrought life. It’s a recipe for mental health disaster to think we can burn the candle at both ends 6 days a week and somehow fix it with one day of fresh air and family time.
Self care is not a bubble bath, a glass of gin or a roast dinner on a Sunday. Self care is a lifestyle, a way of living life in balance. It’s prioritising what matters. Doing the dull things, the things we put off, so that they don’t niggle at the back of our minds. It’s planning and organising. Saying no to things occasionally, even if they sound fun, so we have the energy and time to enjoy the things we say yes to.
It’s building exercise and healthy eating into our day to day lives and making time for our loved ones. It’s about identifying what really makes our hearts sing and fitting that into routines. “I don’t have time” is such a common complaint but we all have the same 24 hours in a day, so let’s put the focus on what really matters. As always, small changes make a huge difference.
Sunday can still be a special day. It’s probably my favourite day of the week. We spend our Sunday’s doing activities that please us, long walks, a good book, family time and great food, but we also do some of those things through the week. They’re not treats, rewards for a busy week, they’re what makes us happy and I don’t just want to be happy once a week.
I’m not offering tips for you, the things that fill our hearts are different for all of us. This weekend, try to be kind to yourself and not just on Sunday.