Self-care is NOT Selfish

Self-care is NOT selfish, but it can initially feel like it if we aren’t used to prioritizing ourselves.  As women, and natural caregivers, this can be challenging.  

 

According to the Oxford dictionary, self-care is “The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health” or “The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”

 

Sounds reasonable.  Wise, in fact. So why don’t we do it? 

 

“If you don’t make time for your wellness, you’ll be forced to make time for your illness.” (Joyce Sunada).   Our bodies WILL force us to slow down, even if the timing isn’t good, and even if we don’t want to and we think we can’t. 

 

Burnout teaches us this, and we learn and make changes and swear it will never happen again.  And then it does. And we get angry, sad, and spend time and money restoring and rebuilding ourselves until we feel good enough, and then we get back out there.  

 

But what if we could recognize the downward slide sooner, and disrupt the pattern? What if we were so in tune with our body, mind and spirit that we could tell early on when we were off, and take a little space to explore it, and address it.  Getting to know ourselves IS an investment in ourselves.   

 

  • Are you treating yourself like you would treat a friend you dearly love, giving her space when she needs it, and hugs when she needs them?  
  • Are you feeding your body things that taste good in the moment, but make you feel bad in the long run or are you feeding your body tasty food that also nourishes you and energizes you?  
  • Are you drinking water or enough of it daily to keep you hydrated and energized? It helps the body communicate, cleanse and regulate.
  • Are you giving yourself transition time between tasks, events, and activities or are you overscheduled and exhausted?  Transitions take energy.  We need to allow space to switch from the right brain to the left, and back; from high energy to high focus tasks.  Giving ourselves a little transition time can save time and energy in the long run.
  • Are you speaking kindly to yourself, or beating yourself up with negative self-talk? What we say matters, to others, and to ourselves.  Our subconscious will work to manifest what you are telling yourself.  Be conscientious and kind with your words.

 

If this sounds easier said than done, you’re right.  It takes prioritizing, rearranging, having conversations, learning to say no, setting boundaries, and recognizing that we matter, our health matters.   We will show up better, more resilient, more focused, more resourced, more calm, more ourselves when we take the time to just BE, and the time to DO what fills us up. 

 

The world programs us to HAVE, DO and then BE, but it’s out of order.  We must BE first, then the DOing becomes more intentional and easier, and then the HAVE is the result.  

 

That being comes with SLOWING DOWN.  If we are going at the speed of light, how are we going to connect to our intuition, our superpower as women?  How are we going to give ourselves a break, connect with our values, our loved ones, and ourselves?  Faster isn’t always better.  In fact, it can be detrimental, or at least actually slow down our progress. 

 

In yoga class the other day my instructor said, “In times of transition, it is important to fortify ourselves.”  This could be big or little transitions, seasonal, stressful, or just switching gears.  What do you need to fortify yourself?  Are you giving yourself that?

 

Let’s get intentional. Create your own list of 3-5 things that when you do them, you feel more resourced, calm, rested, and restored.  It could be meditation, drinking 8 glasses of water a day, your pilates or yoga class, or your morning run. It could also mean finding a therapist to work on that thing that won’t go away.  It could look like  journaling, connecting with your spouse, using essential oils, starting a gratitude practice, spending time alone, engaging in positive self talk or reading poetry.  

 

Self-care isn’t just bubble baths, although that could be part of your routine.  I consider my diet part of my self-care, because when I stray, I pay.  I also just know that I feel better when I eat better.  So it’s not a matter of willpower, it’s a matter of living well.   We want to build a life we don’t have to escape from.   Our body, mind and spirit and our nervous system need time to integrate, create, heal, rest, and restore. 

 

When planning your week, be mindful of your transition times between activities, meetings, etc., AND allow space and schedule your self-care.  In fact, consider scheduling your self-care FIRST and the rest of your week around that.  What!! I can feel the shock factor.  I know.  It feels, weird.  At first.  Over time, it begins to feel normal, and necessary.  

 

You deserve it.  For all those Mom’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day.  Give yourself the gift of regular self-care.  Every part of your life will become easier and better when you are resourced, rested, and rooted.   

 

For support with building your self-care toolbox, and creating a life you don’t want to escape from, reach out and let’s chat.  I’d love to support you.  Email me at mkooicc@confluencecoaching.life or schedule an appointment on my website.  

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