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Who am I?

Our identity is so important. Fundamentally we all need to know who we truly are and to have a sense of what makes us ‘us’. It is so important to understand what defines us, and more then that to make time for the things that we appreciate, value and enjoy. If people are not able to be themselves, if they can’t be true to who they are or they don’t have space to do the things that they love and enjoy – then they are likely to feel very low at times, anxious at others and in general quite lost. After all we all need to know and value who we truly are.

Think about that for a moment. What makes you ‘you’? What are the things in your life that you love and enjoy? What are you core beliefs and values? What time do you invest and spend being yourself? What commitments do you make to yourself each day and each week?

We all spend so much time giving. The output of our lives can be extreme. Whether its children, partners, work, friends – the list is endless and it can be exhausting. Before you know it a week can pass and you might look back, thinking – what did I do for myself during that time? If we don’t make time and space for ourselves then we lose ourselves, and its when that loss takes place that our identity really suffers. We can no longer feel like ourselves. Instead, we can feel a version of ourselves but it might not quite be our true self. And consequently, we don’t feel happy or fulfilled.

Think about a runner who loves running and is so passionate about it. If they get an injury and cant run they may feel a sense of loss. An unease as they try to negotiate their way through the weeks with different activities. Think about when a person gets made redundant – they may feel a sense of loss as they are no longer working In a place that they may have loved and valued. They may feel unsure about who they are if they are not working, and the days may feel unfamiliar for them. New mums often talk about losing their identity as they days and nights become about feeding and taking care of a newborn baby. There is no doubt about it – that is relentless and exhausting. But it’s the isolation that often gets to them – and a sense that they no longer feel like themselves.

These are just some examples of when people can lose their identity. They are examples of how individuals may feel low, lost, and uneasy. At times even quite depressed and anxious.  It can of course be so hard when a person’s life changes so much and they have to adjust and navigate their way through such huge changes.

It is so important therefore that an individual finds time and space to invest In themselves, and to make room for themselves. Even if that space looks different to the way things were before.

A new mum might not be out like she was for example, or down the gym as much as she was pre-birth. A running might not be running or doing any exercise if they have an injury. And if an individual was made redundant then they might now find themselves with a lot of time on their hands – where they were once perhaps in a very demanding job.

However just because things change and just because the day to day is different, it doesn’t mean a person should totally lose sight of who they are.

The important thing is navigating and negotiating a different way of being – one that feels comfortable and still in line with ones sense of self.

A runner for example might adapt to walking or swimming depending on the injury. If someone loses their job in some capacity they may choose to do some volunteering or charity work in the meantime while they look for something else. And a new mum may choose to go for walks with her friends while the baby naps to ensure she still socialises and feels part of something.

Again, these are just small examples – but the difference they make can be huge.

Take a moment to think about your own identity right now. Are their parts of yourself that you are currently missing? Are their bits of your life that you would like to have more time and energy for? Are their things that you would like to do more of but haven’t quite find the time or energy just yet?

Its so important to ensure that there is space in your week for you to be you. No matter how small that space is. You need to prioritise the things that make you feel good and then you will see a very big difference in your wellbeing.

Finally, it is important to remember that if you can’t do things the way you used too – it’s Important to find a different way of doing them. And to carve out space and room for some other activities that make you feel good. Take the time to think about what that could be for you and start to make it happen. It really will make such a positive difference.