Ok ladies, listen up. Enough self care fluffy stuff. Now that we’ve made it clear that you are the most important thing in your life, and, highlighted a few self care truths – it’s time to get real about taking action.
We know the term #selfcare is being thrown around A LOT these days. It’s being used to mean pretty much anything. So much so, that it’s also being used when we’re choosing self COMFORT, not so much self CARE.
Self-comfort is a type of behaviour that is focused on soothing, calming and coping. We typically choose self comfort when we are faced with a stressful situation. These choices are usually the “easier” in the moment choices (ie. skipping a workout, having another glass of wine when we decided we would only have one, or sacrificing much-needed sleep for a night of Netflix and Chill).
Sometimes self comfort is absolutely necessary because a little relief, distraction, or avoidance is needed. But, if made too often these choices can keep us where we are (or move us backwards), rather than help move us forward.
Now that I’ve potentially burst some of those #selfcare bubble bath bubbles…. I just want to remind you of what we finished by saying in last weeks self care article.
Expecting ourselves to be perfect, or self care to always be easy, is definitely adding to our stress.
Of course there will be days we struggle to choose self care and instead choose self comfort. Health isn’t about being perfect! But it is about being consistent. Having a consistently proactive approach is what we need to be aiming for.
Here’s four tips to help you get real about your self care.
1. Learn to listen to your body
Part of the benefit of self care is becoming more in tune with your needs by listening to your body. However, theres two problems we often encounter with this:
- Many of us don’t know what we’re listening for (read a list of example ‘messages’ your body might be trying to send in this article)
- Many of us ignore our body’s whispers and instead wait for it to start screaming at us!
What can help is making a habit of checking in with yourself regularly. Keeping a journal can be a helpful tool to do this (ie. Track how you’re feeling, coping or responding, and/or, track your health habits). You’re more likely to notice ‘whispers’ when you’ve been writing them down.
Or perhaps you have a health professional you check in with somewhat regularly?! My Doctor is actually amazing. I share all the messages/symptoms/concerns I have with her – not just when quite unwell and need a script, but when I’m noticing something ‘not quite right’. She knows me and my life pretty damn well. She’s good at recognising patterns and will pull me up if I’m downplaying or ignoring something.
2. Schedule it into your diary
We all know that if it’s not in your diary, it’s not happening. So make a date with yourself and add self care into your dairy! Often we don’t think to do this because we prioritise work as the only thing that should be in a diary. We need to flip our thinking here!
Have set times of the week for your workouts, block out time for meal plan and prep, allocate time the night before a busy day to make your breakfast and lunch, book in that monthly massage or yearly check up, lock in a dinner date or coffee catch up with friends….. This not only reminds you to get in the habit of doing it regularly, it also makes a statement that you think it’s just as important as those weekly meetings with your boss.
3. Surround yourself with support
Surround yourself with people who support and celebrate you, your goals and your efforts! Compassionate people that understand there is no one-size-fits-all (ie. what works well for them, may not for you, and vice versa), rally around each other, help keep each other accountable, and encourage each other to check in. It’s a hard slog on your own, we all need a tribe of like-minded women in our corner or by our side!
4. Remember your why
Are you a (B)eautiful friend or partner? Then maybe you want to support and encourage your nearest and dearest to chase their dreams. Are you an (U)nstoppable Mumma? Then maybe you want to be a role model for your children. Are you a (F)earless #bossbabe? Then maybe you want to be able to chase those big dreams of yours!
Linking your health habits to your core values or purpose can make a HUGE difference to your motivation to work on it consistently. Keep your reasons front of mind, or write them down and keep them in view.
** Bonus Tip: Unfollow! **
While social media is great for showcasing positive things in life, it also has a sneaky way of distorting reality. Constantly scrolling through a ‘highlights reel‘ of images can cause feelings of jealousy or ‘compare and despair’ (aka comparisonitis) in which the overload of seemingly ‘perfect people’ with ‘perfect lives’ can lead us to reflect on the supposed imperfections in our own lives.
You have the power to choose who you follow, and unfollow!
If someone’s social media posts are not making you feel good, ask yourself, ‘why am I following this person?’ Think about you, and your self care. Perhaps you adopt a ‘three strikes you’re out’ policy, or perhaps you unfollow straight away. You have the power to choose.
READY TO FEEL BEAUTIFUL, UNSTOPPABLE AND FEARLESS?
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