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Tend Before Mend

A period of patience…and maintenance.

How many of us are using this isolation period to do some of those jobs we have put off for months, maybe even years?! Perhaps the overdue decluttering of cupboards and drawers or a reorganisation of shelves and bookcases. It might be time for a repaint here or there. If you are anything like me there is always bookkeeping to tackle!

This week I was forced to dig deep on the home repair front – the kitchen sink had deteriorated from sluggish draining to total blockage. Fully prepared, I systematically deconstructed the U bend and all its attachments, feeling proud I had vaguely remembered teenage DIY lessons from my parents. It wasn’t long to see the problem – not dissimilar to clogged arteries – the pipes were well overdue a serious clear out. Months of build up and mistreatment had left them in pretty poor shape.

It was yet another reminder that tending to things as life goes along is so much better than allowing them to reach breaking point!

And yet, it seems to be that most of us wait till something needs fully fixing before we pay attention to it and make it a higher priority. This rings true in all areas of life but particularly often when it comes to our health and happiness. Maybe we have neglected those nagging issues because of time, fear, denial or procrastination. All these mindsets start as coping strategies and then they seem to become ingrained. It is usually only with new awareness that we see how it would be beneficial to find a different approach. 

With more reflective time on our hands at the moment, we have the perfect opportunity to gently tweak some of our more unhealthy and unhelpful habits. By choosing to adopt an attitude of tending to the areas in our lives that have been calling out for our attention, it will reduce the likelihood of them getting to breaking point.

Here are a few pointers to help: 

 

Awareness: The Patterns  

Tending to our wellness on a regular basis gives us the opportunity to change any habitual patterns that aren’t serving us anymore. So often it takes something to go badly wrong for us to find the motivation to do things differently. 

We might have unwanted and recurring symptoms in our body or mind that prompt us to explore a new way of looking after yourself. Whatever the problem is, the starting point for change is nearly always awareness. With awareness you are back in the driving seat, you have choice.

Acknowledge: The Pressure

It is so easy to have a mini crisis and then go back to doing things the same way, we are all guilty of that! However, when our awareness is more attuned and part of our practice we start to notice the detrimental side effects that arise as a consequence of ignoring our body’s signals.

Through acknowledging the pressure or tension that builds up by putting this area of self-care off, we can begin to take steps to change things.

Action: The New Priorities

Once ready to tweak the habit, it can be super helpful to set yourself a goal. Making sure the action is achievable and you make yourself accountable makes change more likely to be successful and continued.

It can be useful to reflect on the energy, time and often money spent when we let things get to crisis point – this might be the fuel we need to ignite a new practice. 

Ultimately, when we tend to ourselves we befriend ourselves at the same time – how can that be anything other than positive.

 

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