Another Type of Self-Care
Why is it so hard to do the right thing for yourself?
For me, helping others has always come naturally. I’m always there to listen to my friends or give a motivational speech. I’ve spent ample time doing volunteer work throughout my life. I'm drawn to working with non-profits and businesses that help others. I try to go out of my way to help others whenever I can.
But caring for mySELF is a different story.
Self-Care is a complicated thing.
This buzzword seems to get thrown around all over social media these days. I see pictures of women in a bubble bath with a glass of wine in their hand, or reading a book on the beach, or treating themselves to a manicure.
While relaxation and “treating yourself” is one type of self-care, actually taking care of yourself can look very different.
And it’s not always easy or relaxing. Sometimes, self care can be hard work.
For example, I know that my body feels better after I do yoga. I used to do yoga every day, even if it was just for 10 minutes. Lately though, I’ve been drained. Haven’t we all?
When my body is really hurting or something specific is bothering me, I’ll pull up a yoga video and get to it. 98% of the time, I feel better. Then I’ll say out loud: “I really need to get back to doing daily yoga.”
But the next day, I wake up and scroll through social media for 20 minutes before getting ready for work. And when I get home I crash on the couch. I’ll look longingly at my yoga mat and think: “I should really do yoga.” Then I’ll turn on the TV and get lost in a show for hours on end.
Even though I KNOW that it will make me feel better. It will help me sleep better. It will give me more energy. It will help with my anxiety and any joint or muscle pains.
To me, it’s a lot like cleaning. I know if I do a little bit of cleaning every day, my house will be clean all the time. If I only clean one day a week, I'll have to clean for a lot longer on that one day to keep it clean. If I only clean once a month, the mess and dirt and grime is going to build up and it’s going to be that much harder and time-consuming to make it look clean again. If I have organization systems in place to help me keep the house clean, that makes things simpler (but not easier).
FYI - I am the type of person that cleans once a month… maybe. Or I scramble to make my place presentable when I find out a friend is coming over. Well, I haven't had a friend over in more than a year because of covid... so I'll just let you imagine what my apartment looks like.
So why is it so hard to actually DO the thing I know I should do?
Eating healthy is the same way. It’s easy to order a pizza or whip up some mac and cheese. I know I will feel like crap afterwards. I know I will overeat and then my stomach will hurt and it will be hard to fall asleep. I know I would feel better if I ate something GREEN.
But there’s this element of convenience and comfort.
It’s HARD to plan out your meals in advance. It’s HARD to exercise every damn day. It's HARD to prep, season, and cook. It’s HARD and it’s TIME CONSUMING!
But we know it’s worth it.
Self-care isn’t all bubble baths and book clubs. Sometimes It’s doing the hard work that you know you deserve for yourself.
What if we treated ourselves - our bodies and minds and souls - like we would a loved one? What if we put in the hard work that we know we deserve for ourselves?