AD Book Printing UK sent me a wonderful book to review, ‘Put Yourself First’, by Marianne Killick. I was only too happy to read and review something that was marketed as ‘my own personal health coach in a book’.
Prioritising our own health and well-being is really difficult for a lot of us and sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. How many times have we justified exhausting ourselves to keep other people happy, because we believe it’s our role as a mother, or a wife to give over all our time to help another. We need to give permission to ourselves to be a priority and this book explains how. Fantastically sensible and yet thought provoking snippets like ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup’ and ‘it’s ok to do nothing’ are just some of the words of wisdom we can start to incorporate into our lives without feeling guilty. Ironically, it took a COVID-19 lockdown to give me the time to read this book – just about says it all really about how to ‘put yourself first’. But to see in black and white how being a woman in this day and age means having multiple roles to fulfill reminded me that it’s okay to not be all things to all people all the time and that boundaries can be a good thing. One thing my mam taught me when I had my daughter was ‘happy mam, happy baby’ and the thought-proving inspiration behind this book is essentially that.
But it’s not just lots of phrases to movitate you and make you feel good, to spur you on your way to a better you with advice on planning real ‘me’ time. There’s also the science bit and that is where this book comes into it’s own. I now understand how stress and anxiety and pushing myself past normal tiredness and exhaustion limits, actually affects my body, like my liver and my pituitary gland, and how those can diminish my health or any of my good planning. We all know not enough sleep is not good for you but knowing how low-quality sleep can create hormonal imbalance and the effect that can have on a woman is truly fascinating.
The final chapter of the book ‘Project Self’ gives you a clear guide to follow to really look at every aspect of your self-care and how to create a plan going forward in the areas you need to change and indeed, just start! I’d recommend really taking some time with this bit and thinking about what and why you do what you do, what, who or how can you make even the smallest of changes to your routine to incorporate something in there for yourself. But most of all, as Marianne points out, enjoy the whole process of change and it could be very exciting. I loved this book and have started to celebrate my small successes of including some time each day to either do a quick workout or have that 15 minute cup of coffee gazing out of the window, allowing my mind to run free and unrestricted. No, it’s not wasting time, it’s the time I have put aside for me, and if I think I’m worth it then undoubtedly others will too. The goal of the book is to thrive, and not just survive and is definitely gives you all the tools you need to do just that.