Self Care No Self CareJul 12, 2021
We need to put our needs first. Truth.
We need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others. Truth.
There are moments when NOT doing self-care is self-care. Truth. 🤔
How do we know what is best-doing or not doing? I'm excited to share a three step process to help.
But first, over the past week, I have had a cold. And while I do try to take time to let my body recover and prevent illness from going deeper, I just have so much going on right now that I want to do!
I have a pretty rigorous self-care routine in the morning. I wake at 4:30am. At that hour, usually (but not always) my kids are asleep and I can have some time to myself. I journal, meditate and exercise before I start the morning rush to get everyone out the door.
The problem I’m finding is getting to bed early enough to support that 4:30am wakeup. So it’s not easy to see the times when it would better serve me to get some extra rest. Like with this cold…
To put this in perspective, this self-care routine has truly changed my life. I’ve gone from being a victim of my day to being in control and putting myself first. It truly revolutionized EVERYTHING. So I’m kinda addicted to it because I know how good it makes me feel.
Sometimes self-care means actually stopping. Like, totally stopping. Not just less, but stillness. Not easy for me, managing my business, three busy boys, and all the other responsibilities of life.
So how do you figure out if you are just feeling a lack of motivation, trying to avoid progress, or truly needing downtime? There is only one true compass: a dialogue with yourself.
But how can you create this dialogue? Trust me when I say we all have this ability to listen to our bodies and systems. The essential ingredients: openness and compassion, focus upon your goals and a willingness to take inspired action.
I’m excited to share three tips to follow to create this dialogue. But first…
Knowing your usual MO can help you get clarity. For instance, by nature, I like to push myself. Which is what set the stage for my health crash 16 years ago. I like to achieve, to move forward, to access that driven, focused part of me. Yeah, it’s still hard for me to always stick to my routines just like anyone else. There are days when I’d rather just turn off the alarm, roll over, and go back to sleep! But more often than not, downtime is my challenge.
So what is your default MO? What is your bigger challenge? Creating action or creating downtime? Caution: If you are in the middle of a healing journey, you may have a different, survival-based perspective than your true default. When you understand the place you usually come from, your general way of interacting with life, you can use this to help keep you on your path forward.
Now that you are aware of some of your general habits and patterns, let’s take some concrete steps to have a meaningful chat with yourself.
Use this three step process to open to a dialogue with yourself and receive guidance from YOUR only true compass.
- Tune in. Get still. Get centered. Yes, this can be hard if you’re feeling off balance. But take some deep breaths, close your eyes, and focus on your senses for a few moments. Feel your chair, feel your feet touching the floor. Feel your breath moving in and out. Listen to any sounds around you. Or if you are outside, feel the breeze on your skin. Anything to connect with your senses and be mindfully present within your body: touch, taste, smell, hearing.
- Ask. Now that your mind is quiet, bring to mind a question you wish to ask. Do I need more rest? What does my body need right now? What action needs my focus to move me forward? Any question for which you seek guidance are fair game. Try to keep it as simple as possible.
- Listen. Pay attention! Most of us believe a loud voice will yell in our ear to get our attention. Not usually the case! Perhaps a friend talks to you about a situation she is trying to work through (and it’s exactly the question you asked for guidance). Perhaps you will see a social post that hits you deeply and you just know you need to focus on this. Perhaps you get a moment of clarity about just how exhausted you are. Whatever method the guidance takes to reach you, pay attention so you don’t miss it!
We could add a fourth step of Action. Take action on this information! And remember sometimes action can be lack of action. <3
If we can learn to ask ourselves and hear the answer, we will always know the best path forward, without question. And once this becomes fluid and trusting, there is no need to worry about making a wrong decision. You’ll know deep in your heart and belly that what you heard is absolutely the right thing for you in this moment in time, without any need for conscious questioning.
Wouldn’t that be a totally awesome way to live? Make this your reality. It is 100% achievable for you.
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