When someone says ‘self-care’ to you, what does it make you think of?
In your mind, do you conjure up images of a hot bubble bath, a wander across rolling hills or a maybe a delicious dinner?
Or, does it actually have you picturing the million other tasks you have to perform before you get to even think about you? You have a gigantic ‘to do’ list and so, self-care will just have to wait?
In my practice, I hear this one all the time from clients who are completely frazzled by their roles and responsibilities, putting everyone needs before their own and never finding the time to truly care for themselves.
Although, some do fall exhaustedly into a hot bath and light a candle just so they can tick the self-care box, I know I’ve been guilty of that particular trick in the past. However, I’ve written before about how self-care is so much more than that.
Here’s the thing, you plug your mobile phone in every single day and charge the battery to keep it working.
But do you give yourself the same attention?
If this has struck a chord, take a moment to consider this……you wouldn’t blame your phone for a blank screen if it had not been charged, but are you very quick to criticise yourself for much the same thing when you don’t perform at the top of your game because you are depleted?
If your answer is yes, then do you realise you are treating your phone better than you treat yourself?
For me, self-care is the well being equivalent of charging your phone.
And just like charging your phone, it’s something to be done every day.
We’ve all seen memes like this and while it might seem cheesy, it is engulfed in truth.
How on earth can you provide loving, energetic support if you are exhausted, uncared for and run ragged? Nevertheless, it does not stop us expecting this and then getting angry when we feel we have not delivered what we think we ‘should’.
So, why might making time for self-care be such a struggle for you?
In my experience, it’s very rarely because you don’t actually have the time it might take, more often than not it is because there is something more holding you back.
After all, we all find time to check Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc……
So maybe this is the real reason, when you were a child if your parents didn’t take care of their own wellbeing in a meaningful way, then you would not have learnt how to do it let alone value its importance.
Another really common reason may be, if one parent did, but the other parent resented it, and you believed it was your job to keep that parent happy, then you will have learnt that self-care was not a good thing to do.
Instead, that parent’s negative belief will have been projected on to you and you then subconsciously adopted it because, as children we are told that our parents ‘know more than us’.
So now, you might believe that it’s ‘lazy’ to take time out to rest. Or, setting time aside to take care of yourself is selfish.
This belief served you well as a child living with that parent because it meant that you kept on the right side of them.
However, now as an adult knowing that taking care of yourself is an essential part of good health and wellbeing, you can begin to see those beliefs for what they were and that they are no longer benefitting you. They were someone else’s beliefs that have been projected on to you and let’s face it, that parent probably inherited them too.
So, here is a tip for you to begin to change how you think of self-care; consider it to be as essential as brushing your teeth because honestly, it is. And, just like cleaning your teeth, it needs to be done every day to ensure you are properly looked after and nurtured.
Looking after your own wellbeing and finding what works for recharging your ‘battery’ truly pays dividends.
And, when you do it, you will find yourself able to provide the sort of support to others that has you praising yourself not criticising.
But start by doing it for you💛x
If you need help with any of this, please get in touch.