I recently had a big blip of a downer… I was tired, hating my job, had lost confidence in my ability to do anything well and . . . well, you know the kind of day I mean. Was I just suffering that ‘Monday Morning Feeling’ or was something deeper going on?
At work, when colleagues asked me the usual question, ‘Are you alright?’, I surprised them by saying ‘No, I’m not.’
It took them by surprise for two reasons: firstly, because they were expecting the usual ‘Yes thanks… you?’ answer to that question, and secondly, it was unusual for me to answer negatively, and they said ‘That’s not like you.’
This response from my colleagues helped me to realise that it wasn’t the true ‘me’ who was speaking. The true me is joyful, playful and fun to be around. The person speaking at work that day was an old me; one who wallowed in self-pity and blamed everyone except herself for what was wrong in her life – the job, the hours, the boss etc.
‘OK,’ I thought, ‘so it’s not the real me’. Why? How have I allowed myself to be less than who I truly am? As I looked back on the days preceding that particular Monday, I recalled it was a collection of events that had left me feeling tired and had taken me away from my true self.
Not only that, but my house had been getting messier and messier and I was avoiding clearing it, and my wake-up and going-to-bed times were all over the place. It wasn’t due to the late shifts I occasionally work, because I was going to bed late on my days off too.
And then I twigged – I’d given more importance to all the things I felt I had to do instead of being aware of my body and nurturing the real me.
I need a sense of rhythm in my life, a regular commitment to self-care that serves as my foundation and supports me throughout my day, no matter what I do or what hours I work.
There are many small ways in which I can do this – making sure I wash up after meals so that my kitchen is clean and ready for the next meal; keeping my bedroom tidy so that it is a restful place to sleep; switching off my computer earlier so I can wind down ready for sleep.
In the mornings I can wake up with a sense of appreciation of who I am and what I feel, go for a walk, and do gentle exercises to stretch my ageing body and keep it mobile.
These are all things I am doing, but not every day on a regular basis. The words that come to mind are COMMITMENT and CONSISTENCY – I need to commit to ME, the True Me and be consistent in these little self-loving ways so that I create a solid foundation of support for myself.
This is very much a work-in-progress because changing old patterns and ways of being, without self-judgment or criticism, is tricky. Appreciating and putting me first helps me to be strong enough to support others. It’s not selfish, it is essential self-care.
When I look after myself, keep my environment tidy and don’t try to do too much, then I am far less exhausted and, amazingly, can do far more. My energy is consistently steady, every day feels the same – joyful and fun, and there is no more ‘Monday Morning Feeling’.
My thanks go to Serge Benhayon, Natalie Benhayon, Simone Benhayon and Sara Williams, whose loving support has helped me to understand the importance of setting a good foundation and a consistent loving rhythm in my life.
By Carmel Reid, Somerset, UK