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Why self care is not selfish

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Last week instead of doing my day job I learnt a new skill. I was immersed in the practice of Vedic Meditation – an ancient technique of silent meditation, repeating a personalised mantra. I’ve tried various forms of meditation, and if you've known me for a little while, you’ll be aware that I believe we can not be at our best if we do not look after ourselves first and foremost; that we can not embrace life if we’ve run ourselves into the ground or if our battery is running on empty. This powerful message has been at the heart of what I’ve learnt this week. Often clients (and friends and family) talk to me about self-care being selfish or that it feels ‘wrong’ to do something for themselves. They recognise they are drained, tired, burnout, frustrated and simply going through the motions. They know they are snappy, lack patience, make mistakes and feel overwhelmed. They feel it. They know it. Yet doing even the smallest thing to restore feels too much.

· How can you do your best work if you can't focus?

· How can you engage in meaningful conversations if you're distracted?

· How can you role model self care to your children if you do not allow yourself to rest?

· How can you witness what is right in front of you if you are too exhausted to see it?

· How can you expect to have energy if your energy reserves are drained?

The wonderfully inspiring Jillian Lavender, speaks that ‘two minutes is better than no minutes’ and I would extend this from meditation to all self-care practices.

Self-care and prioritising your well-being is not about retreating from the world.

It is about being able to live more fully, for yourselves and for everyone else in your life.

It is about embracing opportunities with passion.

It is about doing your best work in a way that feels good.

It is about nurturing your relationships.

So I have a question, what can you do for two minutes today to live your life more fully?


Gemma Brown is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) accredited with the International Coach Federation, working with individuals and groups to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma works face to face with clients in the Cambridge area as well as via Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.

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