I was listening to a podcast recently and the host was talking about the need to cultivate our passions. (If you’re interested it was Josh and Ryan from the minimalists). What they meant by that was that sometimes passion doesn’t come to us naturally. You don’t just wake up and suddenly become a passionate writer, a painter, a sculptor, a designer. You have to work at it to gain skill and then you become passionate. Now sure, you may have had the passion to engage in the activity at first, but for the activity to BECOME your passion, that takes hard work and dedication.
I think self-care is similar to that. It seems like something that should come naturally to us. Something that should feel good and easy all the time. I mean, we are taking care of ourselves, right? What else could be more important or more enjoyable? However, sometimes when you aren’t used to self-care it can feel a little self-indulgent, a little anxiety producing, a little like something you don’t even want to do.
Let me give you an example. For me, self-care often looks like taking time to be by myself. During this time I might veg out and watch Netflix; I might get a massage; I might spend some time reading or listening to a podcast. The point is, for me, self-care is often a solitary activity. Now that I am a wife, a mom, and a therapist, I have found myself feeling GUILTY for wanting to take this time. It isn’t always as easy as it was when I was 19 and didn’t have people relying on me. BUT it is because I am a wife, a mother and a therapist that self-care is 10x as important as it was when I was 19. I need to be at the top of my game so I can really show up for the roles in my life. This means I have to make time for self-care and cultivate self-care in my life even when it doesn’t come easy.
These are the things that I have found helpful to alleviate some of the guilt or anxiety when self-care doesn’t feel as easy as I’d like it to feel.
- I remind myself that I am more calm, more relaxed, more focused and more pleasant when I make self-care a priority.
- Just do it. There will be times when you cannot alleviate the negative feelings until you just jump in there and do some self-care.
- Ask yourself, “Would I be giving my best friend grief for doing this? Or would I be encouraging her to add an extra five minutes to that walk alone or do an extra yoga class each week?”.
- Think about a time when self-care helped you be more present with your family, your work or yourself.
You are worthy of love and of the time it takes to love yourself well.
The Self Care Lady