Self care: When you don’t look after you.

by | Oct 11, 2019

Self care: When you don’t look after you

Self care is a much used word and one that has different meanings for different people.  It’s also something that historically I’ve been notoriously bad at. Whatever was happening in my life, however I felt, I pushed on through. Pretending everything was ok and putting on a front.  

Listen to your body

On a few occasions in my life it has all become too much and my body has made me stop. It took a lot for me to listen and actually stop, take time out and look after me. 

It can be ‘easy’ to put on a front and tell everyone you are ok. Admitting you’re not ok isn’t easy. I expected myself to be strong, to be able to handle everything and over time I think those around me believed I was. I’m not blaming anyone, after all I was very good at hiding my true feelings (although my health was a bit of a giveaway that things weren’t great!).  

When I became a mum I was confident I could handle it and I certainly wasn’t go to tell anyone I was struggling. After all I’d decided to adopt by myself and how hard could it be? 

Things got ‘interesting’ very quickly but I battled on, determined to get through it somehow.  I didn’t tell those around me just how bad it was. I didn’t want them thinking badly of my gorgeous little boy because he was, and is, just that – gorgeous. However, at times his emotions became too big and it all came out.  

Over the years I’ve been good at ignoring my feelings. I’ve tried things like counselling but for me it hasn’t really helped. I don’t find sitting in a room for an hour talking about my feelings very natural.  

Small changes make a huge difference

About a year ago I knew I was struggling and decided it was time to get some help. I’ve worked with a few different people to help me with different aspects of my life. It wasn’t an overnight miracle cure, but the changes were huge and I feel the best I have done in years.  

I’ve finally learnt the importance of listening to my body and looking after it emotionally and physically. I take time every day to do something for me, even if it’s just a few minutes focusing on my breathing.  Self care doesn’t have to take hours!

It’s made a huge difference not just to me but to my relationships and friendships, including with my son.  

Getting support

It can be hard to admit you’re struggling. You might not want to be seen as ‘the one who’s always moaning’ (by the way, true friends won’t think that). Or the one that’s always struggling. I get it, I’ve been there. Or maybe you think they don’t understand – they might not but if you don’t tell them they definitely won’t.  

If you’re struggling, feeling down or just don’t know what to do please reach out to someone. There are lots of places you can go if you don’t want to talk to friends or family. Your GP can help, you can ring the Samaritans, and you’re welcome to come and join my free Facebook group for help. The group might not give you everything you need but it will enable you to be in a group of people who understand and support each other. We discuss ideas for self care and many other things. If you prefer you can just lurk, you don’t need to post if you don’t want to. You can find us at