Self Care - The first piece of the jigsaw of HAPPINESS

By Sarah Godfrey

Exploring Life Works When – A story of piecing happiness together for a successful life.

Now if you’ve read my parable on the happiness jigsaw of life you’d know self-care is one of the first steps to building a platform of wellness, so you can find and maintain a happier life. And if you have my book and completed the Happiness Assessment then the next few blogs are going to help explain and guide you through your jigsaw of Happiness, by exploring what those steps mean in greater detail. Have a look where you rated SELF CARE compared to the other pieces of the jigsaw. Is it something you need to rethink or balance in your life?

Recently I was at a friend’s book launch and her guest speaker said something that resonated with me. He said, “When people tell me they don’t have time, I hear that they are too lazy to make time.”

There were a lot of surprised (and perhaps resentful faces), at the implication that us time poor people could be labelled lazy. And yet I think he was right on the money.

What I think he meant was the effort and challenge to put aside time to do things that can benefit us, may take a little longer than a sound bite or reading an affirmation. We are very clever at shoving what we really need to do in the back of our minds if it requires a perception of too much effort. We fill our lives with distractions and ‘must do’ lists without thinking of allocating time and effort to other important things. Squeezing in our basic needs between other accomplishments we deem more valuable to our life progress. Like putting of reading a book that could improve our understanding of life or ourselves. We are masters at excusing ourselves from the hard stuff.

This concept of time, laziness and choice is integral to the idea of SELF CARE.

I chose SELF CARE as the first piece of the puzzle to HAPPINESS to draw attention to the importance of self-love, for without accomplishing self-love we struggle to cope with the blunt bruising world out there. And by self-love, I don’t mean self-obsession or self-promotion. I mean liking yourself, warts and all. Finding a softness in your vulnerabilities and mistakes. Seeing your soul in the mirror instead of only focusing on the body it came in. SELF CARE is the daily continued focus on looking after yourself. From what you eat and drink, to grooming and hygiene and even your surrounds. SELF CARE is taking time to care for yourself. Slow it down. See yourself as a whole being rather than parts. Stop defining your worthiness as how you look and expand it to include incorporating a kindness for the inside and out.

This means it is okay to step out of our hectic lives, down tools and look after ourselves. Find the time to love who you are.

Want to know a trick? Go and stand in the doorway of your room. Have a look at your environment, no not just outside, I mean around you. Slow down and really look. How clean and organised is your room? Our rooms are like our private mind, it is where the world rarely goes, and the place rarely seen by others. SELF CARE is reflected in this space. If you avoid caring for what you own with value and thoughtfulness, what does that say about your own sense of value? Equally, if your room is so pristine that it lacks personality, again what does that say about you? About the time you spend in your private world, mentally, physically and spiritually?

We have all seen a street with a house that is dishevelled and uncared for. Immediately we sense that the people living there don’t have time ( or maybe judge harshly are too lazy), to look after what they own. They don’t prioritise what they have, even if it is a rundown house. They are sending a message of the lack of self-care they have for themselves and their environment. And we read it easily and agree. SELF CARE is a statement of worth and when undernourished and abandoned seeps out into the world and into our environments. How we treat ourselves sooner or later is demonstrated by how we live and treat the wider spaces we live in.

How about personal hygiene? Do you groom and clean your physical self with care and love? Taking time to nourish the skin you are in? Find the time to maintain your wellbeing in basic ways?

What about that mind of yours? How often do you set aside time to expand your knowledge of self? Question your direction and purpose? Challenge your thinking and reactions to improve your interpersonal and self-development? None of us have all the answers and understand ourselves completely, so finding time to continue a quest for wisdom is important for our personal growth.

And don’t get me started on what we put into our bodies? Do you swallow a myriad of vitamins and concoctions to improve your health because it is quicker than spending time eating fruit or preparing a nutritious meal? Telling ourselves that tablets are time effective ways to nourish our bodies in our busy lives.

SELF CARE as the first piece of the HAPPINESS JIGSAW is a basic and important skill that will support you through life. It will help keep you physically strong, have a sense of your value, demonstrate to the world your own worthiness and create feelings of pride and accomplishment throughout your life.

So, let’s not be lazy with our time. Let’s create moments to SELF CARE. Check in with ourselves emotionally, physically and spiritually to see how we are going. Look around our environment both personally and beyond to see and then create a true reflection of our worthiness. It is time to SELf CARE and make a statement that you are ready to build the platform of happiness to take you through this long and wonderful life.

And don’t forget to get my book Life Works When- A story of piecing happiness together for a successful life to follow and explore the other pieces of the jigsaw of happiness.