By Aoife Delaney
HEALTH & WELL-BEING:
By Julie Burke
By Julie Burke, Hot Pod Yoga Dublin
We are conditioned to be busy - the world we live in and the pace of life most of us choose to lead puts us under extreme pressure on a daily basis. I say choose to live this way, because if you think about it, there is a choice. We could probably all slow down in a number of areas in our day to day life, but for whatever reason we choose not to. Instead we find ourselves constantly planning and thinking ahead to what we have to do next, adding to those never ending to do lists and rarely pausing to take stock of where we are and appreciate who we are.
So why is it that we, myself included, find it easy and often automatic to ignore our own health and well-being? Why do we rarely prioritize ourselves, and if you are anything like me almost feel guilty for taking time out and investing time in you? I learned the hard way when my body gave me a very loud warning signal earlier this year which forced me not just to slow down but totally stop. I really struggled with it, but after quickly realizing I was fighting a losing battle, I decided to try a different approach - to listen to what my body was very clearly screaming at me and also mentally to invest time in me. The reality is that it is very realistic and doable to find more time for you in your week, or as I now like to call it my 'Me TLC' time. This is time to recharge your batteries - to refuel in whatever way you need it. It's a total mindset shift though - to prioritize time for you. It probably won’t happen overnight and some days you may even find yourself in a battle with yourself - I may have been there a few times, but I also have to admit that when I started taking time for me, it had the most amazing impact on me physically and mentally. It also made me a calmer, happier and better version of me, especially for those close to me.
It is so easy to neglect ourselves, I know for me it is often the first thing to go off the list when things get busy. I often feel guilty for taking time out for me, but I have come to realize that finding time for me is not just important for me, but it is essential. Whether you are the kind of person who plans the week ahead on a Sunday or someone who makes a plan each day, I encourage you to find time every day for you. No phones, computers, tv, or life distractions… just time for you to be you, connect with yourself, talk to yourself honestly and most important listen.
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Your Me TLC time can be anything from taking 15 minutes to have a coffee and just check in with yourself to see how you are, 5 minutes of just focusing on your breath and working on slowing things down, exercise, pampering, reading a book - whatever is escapism for you.
My yoga practice is often my Me TLC time and a real treat. To be able to get an hour to reset, check in and re-charge wherever I need it. Sometimes a good workout is what I need and the physical element of yoga hits the spot. Other times it's a mental reset or escape that's needed and I find my yoga practice really allows me to find clarity and focus. What I love about yoga is that every day is different, every practice is different and even though I may step onto the mat with a pre-conceived idea of what I need from my practice, it’s only when I start to move that I really know what I need mentally, emotionally and physically.