In my opinion and based on my experience, the number one thing that gets in the way of self care is busyness.
Well, I should say that’s the number one perceived reason.
But being ‘busy’ isn’t actually it at all.
That’s not to say you’re not busy. Of course, you are! Running a business, a household, wrangling kids; caring for elderly parents; trying to manage your health. It’s a lot.
Want to know what’s really getting in the way?
Feeling like you deserve it. That’s really not as easy a pill to swallow as busyness, is it?
Let me tell you what I mean.
Firstly, let me tell you that you didn’t consciously choose this. Maybe this isn’t you. Most people I work with (and this was me too) have been moulded into being someone who puts others first their whole life. You’ve been told that it’s wrong to put yourself first. We all know what we call that – ‘selfish’.
And how much stigma is attached to being ‘selfish’. So damn much.
There are so many people who have contributed to this. Whether that happened consciously or subconsciously – your parents or caregivers; teachers; the media; ‘society’ at large.
The conditioning of the ‘good girl’ is so strong in us: In me, in you and in so many women.
But this isn’t about victimhood or laying blame anywhere. It’s about realising that this is the real problem. The one where you don’t feel it’s ok to take time out for yourself. You feel selfish if you are the mum who rests, recovers, experiences joy, and happiness, and does what she wants.
Not diving into self care is really about subconsciously continuing to perpetuate the thinking that what you need doesn’t matter. Forget about it being a priority; it’s usually not even on the ‘real’ list.
There’s the imaginary list that includes making time for exercise or getting to bed at a reasonable hour; getting the kids/partner to help more around the house or saying no to social or work events that you just don’t have the time or energy for.
Let me give you an example here:
- As a child, how often were you told to ‘be a good girl’ or that you were being a good girl? You helped someone else or you shared your toys with others or you didn’t make a fuss or you were praised for being quiet
- You were punished if you talked back or created a fuss. The message was clear – keep the peace; don’t get too emotionally ‘messy’ and ignore what you actually want or need
And this becomes part of who you are now. You resort to the essentials of self-care:
- Eating (you might get on the bandwagon of eating well – whatever that means for you – for a period of time but then it goes out the window)
- Looking the part (whether that’s clothes; shoes; handbags; sunnies or perfect finger- and toenails – hello nail salon)
- Maybe going for a massage or facial because either a) you get a gift voucher or b) you want to look your best
What gets missed is the dedication to true self care because you don’t believe (in the words of L’Oreal) that ‘[you’re] worth it’.
When you start to let go of who you think you should be, and embrace your worthiness and that you matter, you can start to::
- Embrace new habits and build up slowly and sustainably
- Make time for stress reduction strategies like meditation or journalling or visualisation. These activities are fantastic for connecting you with yourself and your subconscious mind, leaving you less likely to resort to connecting with something outside of you in an attempt to feel connected – eg hitting the block of chocolate, opening the bottle of wine, getting stuck into online shopping or fighting with family members (yep, this can be unresourceful connection)
- Curl up with a good book and savour the peace
- Keep your commitments to yourself like not cancelling your yoga, gym or pilates sesh; finishing work when you said you would; switching off to be present with your family and allowing yourself to enjoy it; pursuing hobbies for fun
Embracing this can start with these simple but not necessarily easy steps:
- Ask yourself whose voice is in your head when you make decisions. Often the words of a parent can be going around in your mind, or beliefs you’ve heard them say. Eg ‘sitting around doing nothing is lazy’.
- Ask yourself what you would advise a friend, daughter or loved one to do to take care of themselves
- And one of the best lines I’ve heard is:
Oof. If you wouldn’t, what could you change? How can you BE the change? What can you model for others?
If you’d like some help to boost your own self-worth so that you can create a massive difference in your tangible business results, as well as your relationship with yourself, book a Clarity Call here.
To read more about inner child work check out this blog postTags: Inner child people-pleaser selfcare