Many of us will use Lent as a time to challenge ourselves to give up some perceived vice or another: we might choose to give up chocolate for forty days, or perhaps smoking or drinking.
Here at Scentered we like the idea of a forty-day challenge… but we’re really not into deprivation and struggle. After asking around the team here, we found that for most of us, Lent is a time where we give something up and spend forty days craving it and generally feeling a bit rubbish - and then Easter weekend arrives, and we rush back to our abandoned vice with a vengeance.
While it’s great to get involved in a challenge to improve oneself, and that can be a great way of kick-starting a more long-term plan, we’ve often found that this time of year can often turn into a prolonged period of abject misery, as we abstain from something we’ve no intention of removing from our lives long term. Rather than a lifestyle change, it’s a few weeks of saying “no thanks, I’ve given it up for Lent,” each time feeling like we would much rather have taken up the invitation to taste a chocolate or go for a drink after work.
This year then, we’ve decided to do something different. Rather than spend forty days not doing something, we want to use this time to add something into our lives. We’ve decided to challenge you to forty days of nurture, where we all pledge to take care of ourselves a little more between now and Easter.
Nurturing and taking care of ourselves is important for so many different reasons. So often we’ll say “I don’t have time to eat healthily/go to the gym/take a relaxing bath” - we see these as frivolous activities undertaken by those who don’t have the responsibilities and time constraints we’re juggling. The thing is, those of us who say we don’t have time are really the ones who really need to take time out for self care the most. Daily nurturing self care is arguably the most important ingredient when it comes to maintaining and healthy body and mind.
Taking time out to care for yourself is one of those “easier said than done things” that easily fall by the wayside as soon as things become a bit hectic. The thing is that when our lives become hectic and things don’t go according to plan, those are the times when we need to care for ourselves the most - and the times when a lack of self care really does become evident. If we’ve not been eating properly, exercising and taking care of our emotional wellbeing then we are more susceptible to whatever bugs happen to be doing the rounds, more likely to suffer with depression and stress related illnesses, more likely to just feel rubbish.
Taking time out for self nurture doesn’t have to be a time consuming business - unless you have that time spare. A few minutes each day to just focus on yourself and step outside of your busy routine can pay dividends in the long run. When you’ve been taking care of yourself everything else just becomes a little easier to deal with, and when things do go off script you’ll find you’re much better able to cope.
When you regularly take time out to ensure you’re feeling your best, you are much better able to spot the signs of things going awry. You can notice the signs and take preventative action - or you can at least see that you’re coming down with a cold and clear your schedule a little, rather than waking one morning to find you’ve been struck down with an awful virus and still have numerous obligations to fulfil.
This regular time nurturing yourself also means that you’re more in tune with your own instincts. So often we hear of people saying they lost their way, lost touch with themselves, and ended up in a position they couldn’t get out of. By staying in touch with yourself, and listening to your gut instinct, that little inner voice that guides you, you can ensure that doesn’t happen. There’s nothing worse than waking up one day feeling that you don’t know how you got here, but you’re trapped and can’t get back to where you want to be.
Self care doesn’t need to be time consuming, expensive or a chore - it certainly shouldn’t feel like a chore at all! It should feel enjoyable, luxurious and… well, nurturing.
Nurturing and caring for yourself on a daily basis can help you to feel calm, clear, focused and happy; satisfied with your life. Isn’t that what we all want?
This is our plan then, for Lent. Starting on Wednesday 1st March we will be celebrating Forty Days of Nurture with daily tips on our social media. The idea is to share with you simple things you can do to nurture and take care of yourself. Our hope is that by the end of those forty days, we will all see a noticeable difference in how we feel in both our physical and mental wellbeing.
Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram