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What happens when self-care starts to feel like work?

Posted by Kirsty Raynor on Thursday, 6 June 2019
Kirsty Raynor
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We hear the words ‘wellbeing’ and ‘self care’ being thrown around now like it is the simplest thing to achieve; an habitual daily routine to keep you in tip top condition, no?

However, for so many of us, it’s just beginning to feel like an extra thing to add to the daily to-do list. Somehow wellbeing and self-care has come to feel more like a chore rather than a positive and worthwhile habit. This is only amplified in the run up to Summer, when the levels of expectation are put on us and students are even more excited than ever.

To feel overwhelmed by these feelings is completely natural and 100% okay! Living in a fast-paced city with a high pressure job and social media around me 24/7, I still get overwhelmed and frazzled over whether those watching me are judging my green juice or choice of flat white.

The way that I have learnt to navigate this crazy world is by actually creating my own rules for wellbeing. Rules that do not stick to the status quo at all but are tailored to what will bring me more joy.

Here are a few of my own personal habits that might help you manage your own rules and thoughts around self-care!

  • The first thing I do is listen to my body; If I’m tired, I am not working out!

    I am well aware of the unspoken expectation in the fitness world that we must get our Monday morning workouts in before arriving all bonny-eyed and bushy-tailed at work. In actual fact, we are all so different and all work in different ways so what works for one person may not for another. Do what works for you! Monday mornings in schools are incredibly busy and realistically, who has time to smash out a workout before a full day of managing school children? It's just not realistic. You find the time when it works for you… rest and recovery is just as important as working out.

  • A non-negotiable for me in breathe work and meditation.

    This fundamentally makes a shift in your mind that can transform your way of thinking, energy levels and emotional clarity. Set that up as a part of your day that becomes a habit. Take 10 deep breathes in bed as you wake up, even before you look at your phone and you'll start to notice a difference. Give your mind the space it needs to focus, to grow, and to be ready for the day before the world fills it with clutter.

low energy

  • Recognise when you are feeling tired versus when you feel stressed.

    Sometimes, all you need is a 20 minute workout, or energetic Yoga session and you are ready to go again. The endorphin rush you get from working out is the feeling that you can healthily get addicted to. Let's face it, nobody likes burpees but what I guarantee you will like is the feeling that you are left with for the rest of the day or evening.

  • Get yourself outside.

    My all-time favourite habit! Go for a walk at lunch, get off the train earlier and walk 30 minutes. It will make such a difference to your mind. Put on a podcast and walk around a park or street.

 I walk in the local park every day and if I am ever feeling stuck, or even sluggish, I feel so much better by the time I get back. It truly is a game changer!

Just remember that all you need to do is listen to how you feel and what you need. That’s all. Do not let people influence your wellbeing as well as the rest of your life.

Let us know any of the habits that you have!


About our Community Expert


Kirsty Raynor

#TeachFit programme lead

Kirsty is a yoga teacher on a journey of empowerment, building confidence and pushing the boundaries of what traditional yoga is and can be. 

She leads the TeachFit Yoga workshops in our partner schools.


Topics: Wellbeing


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