One of the biggest commitments I made to myself several years ago was to give myself permission to put myself first in order to become the better, more productive and able to thrive in work version of me I wanted to be.
It used to be so different before I put into practice the tools and strategies I learnt during my personal development journey and gaining my accreditation as a Coach. I was working as a Senior Leader in a third sector organisation managing several teams and contracts, whilst bringing up two young girls and volunteering for several organisations.
I would do the hour long commute having dropped my girls in child care and then rush home, continuing unfinished conversations with colleagues on the hands free all the way home. I’d collect the girls, with one of them particularly strung out with the whole after school situation and we’d have a fractious hour/two hours of tea, bath, homework, then bed. My husband would arrive at some point in this cycle and pitch in, or retreat depending on everyone's mood. After which, I’d work some more to fit in the things I’d been unable to finish in the day, or I’d be involved in some event I’d not had the courage to say no to.
Life was like living in a hamster wheel and the frustrating thing was I’d been here before and I ought to have known better. I felt lonely and trapped with a million plates spinning and ready to drop. Read on to find out how this all changed and how it can change for you too.
I don’t know about you, but the words self-care and self-love are repeated so often they are becoming more buzzwords that makes them a bit annoying to the ear!
However, they are important. It is so important in my mind, that I put “Self-care” as the first pillar to success in my 3 pillar model (with Mind set and Strategy coming next). That cliché, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’ is so true. In the working world, particularly when you are passionate about what you do, you can end up burning the candle at both ends too often. Throw in carer, parental responsibilities or health issues and you can be completely lost and so low on the agenda you never get to you.
During my ‘BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND’ workshop I do an exercise, which demonstrated this beautifully and 9 times out of 10 participants don’t even feature. Isn’t that sad that we get so lost in all the things we feel we ‘should’ be doing that we fail to see our own care as a priority?
Well, I’m here to show you how it can benefit not YOU, but everyone around you. (Which helps get past that People Pleaser Mean Little Cow voice that is telling you it is selfish to put you first.) It isn’t selfish and here is why. READ MORE
I've been talking a lot about real Self Care on Social Media lately. In my posts and in my Facebook groups
For far too long we high achieving women have put ourselves too far down our priority list, and that to me is the ultimate in not looking after you and your needs.
You find yourself looking out for everyone else but yourself.
Is your team ok? Has your partner got everything he/she needs?
Are your children fully catered for, loved enough, given enough, hugged enough, nurtured enough, the list goes on? Have you looked after those family members that are in need? On top of that you worry about all the injustice and big issues going on in the world and your community. And yes, they are all important in your life, but where are you in that?
You've stopped looking after you and the cracks are being to show. Well, that stops here.
You might be in a corporate role, an on line entrepreneur or in a public sector leadership role, what you do doesn't matter to me. If you are a high achieving woman who's not looking after her needs, I'm asking you to sign up to this Next Level Woman's Manifesto. It's for you to simply take stock and look out for you.
You can chose which of these promises work for you, and sod the rest, but I want you to really consider each point and decide if you want to promise yourself these things and take action on it. If you do, read on.
On September 7th my dad was bringing in the washing as it had started to rain and slipped. According to the surgeon he must have gone down ‘like a tree’ (The irony of this simile didn’t escape me).He banged the back of head with such force that he effectively snapped the bones in his neck in 3 places and suffered a spinal compression. Within minutes, life as we knew it turned upside down.
After an incredible 7 hour operation, performed by an amazing team at Walton Neurological Centre, we spent the next 5 or 6 days at the hospital around the clock as a family. Not sure whether he’d pull through, or not, had us all on an emotional rollercoaster I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Loop the loop in fact. Eventually, he started to make progress and as they lifted the sedation and gave him a tracheostomy, we started to feel more optimistic that he’d pull through.
Two and a half months on we’ve survived the early shock and as he has moved to Southport Spinal Unit a couple of weeks ago and we are now living a new norm. A norm where we have a rota to visit dad and give him the support he needs, whilst trying not to tire him out (or ourselves for that matter). The future of his mobility is still uncertain, but there are some positive signs, so having gone from living a day at a time, we are feeling like we can live a week at a time now.
So, why am I telling you this?
Well, as always I want to be real. I want to show you that life happens and it’s how we deal with it that matters. So, here’s what I’ve learnt so far from this situation. Read on ....
As I was hugging Steph and Jen for the first time, I was so excited because this is what Bizmums is about. Making connections and doing business in a way that feels good and fun. The Annual Conference and Awards, sponsored by 90 Days of Social, is the highlight of the Bizmums calendar as it’s a chance to finally meet people who you know as a thumbnail head from Facebook and can finally chat and hug in the flesh.
You’ll know I was nominated for 5 Awards and I was gobsmacked when I was shortlisted for all 5 so October 8th at the Manor House, Alsager was an exciting day for me on so many levels.
The day began with the fabulous Michelle Childs and Stacey Knight Jones leading us in a rousing, full room sing-a-long to Robbie’s “I Love my life.” (We were definitely better at the chorus than the verses!! LOL) Read on .......