I’m the first to cringe internally when writing about or posting about this important topic. After all – who am I to preach about the value of self-care? I don’t have children. I have, what seems from the outside, to be a relatively calm, quiet and peaceful life.
There are still days (many days) in my life where the pull of energy from all the different areas of life just feels too much. Where I realise that every single need or every single other person / thing / situation / circumstance has been put entirely before any of my own needs.
There are days when self-care feels unattainable.
And after working with many, many women in my business, I have learnt: you do not have to be a mother to be perpetually rundown.
You do not have to be under any ‘label’ to be exhausted. I have worked with many a client whose life has been so filled to the brim, whose energy has been so permanently and drastically over-extended, that I have come to believe that perhaps it is simply in our nature as women – mothers or not – to give beyond our personal limits. And those limits are different for all of us.
And so, when I write about self-care, I think, is there any point?
Do people just roll their eyes?
How can I really get my message across?
Do people want to hear this from someone who doesn’t have children?
But I can’t not talk about it. It’s a huge part of my purpose.
Because, to me, self-care doesn’t look like facials and massages and days alone in glamorous bliss.
It doesn’t mean lots of spare money, or having no mundane commitments and responsibilities. It doesn’t even necessarily mean changing anything about your life as it is right now.
What is does mean to me, though, is extending ourselves some of the same love, care, attention, and understanding, that we so willingly extend to other people.
/ Self-care is setting strong boundaries so that people can’t walk all over you.
/ Self-care is being ok with not being liked, so that you can say no when you really need to – and not care what anybody thinks about it.
/ Self-care is admitting when you’re really not coping – even when you feel like there’s no solution (because, when you get honest with yourself, the solution always comes).
/ Self-care is finally understanding that you only have 24 hours in a day – just like everybody else – and that playing ‘superwoman’ is only depleting you and making everything harder.
/ Self-care is letting it all out, rather than bottling it all in. Because too many women are falling apart at the seams, while keeping a brave face on for the world.
/ Self-care is honouring what you know you intuitively need in any given moment. Something that we rarely do, out of fear that it will create some drastic consequence (it probably won’t).
/ Self-care is delegating a task to someone that may not do it as well as you, but can still get the job done.
/ Self-care may mean letting someone very important to you down. That’s ok too.
/ Self-care is accepting yourself, where you are, right now, without needing to change it. Because constantly wishing you were different is likely burning you right out.
/ Self-care is choosing to take a sick day from work because you are truly exhausted (yes, exhaustion counts as sickness) – because your wellbeing actually matters, and without it you don’t really have anything.
/ Self-care is giving up perfectionism in some area of your life – or maybe many areas of your life – because you realise that pleasing others will never satisfy that part of you that desperately needs nourishment.
And yes – if self-care does look like facials and massages and glamorous days of bliss – that’s amazing!
BUT – true self-care is the way we treat ourselves in every single moment, not how often we can make it to the day spa.
True self-care is the self-talk that happens within our mind all day, every day.
True self-care is learning how to breathe properly, no matter what is going on.
True self-care is being an anchor for yourself, no matter what chaos abounds.
True self-care does not *really* depend on time, or money, or space. (Although YES, extra time, money and space are all things that most women would love more of!!). True self-care depends entirely on how you choose to treat yourself.
YOU are the only one that can extend yourself what you want. And when you start to truly do that, watch the rest of the world follow suit.
Don’t make excuses based on your circumstance, your income, or any other factor. You can change your level of self-care today … right now … just by being nicer to yourself.
A person who respects themselves is a magnet for feeling good – or at least feeling better. Self-respect commands external respect, and that’s what you will get from your outer world, when it starts to become prominent in your inner world.
And always remember … that life happens in phases.
Some parts of our lives may allow us ample time and money for massages and retail therapy. Others may only allow us 3 minutes a day with a cup of tea.
Always know that whatever your circumstance, it’s likely to change and transform, all in good time.
The most important thing, is that you carry that tiny little piece of self-love, self-compassion, and self-care within you, every single day, in some small way!
And so, dear lady, please don’t believe that I don’t understand how much you have going on in your life. I do, with empathy.
I am fascinated by women – by the way we sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice. By our innately nurturing and mothering natures (and we can be ‘mothers’ to many different things, not just our children). By our seemingly endless well of compassion, and our desire to fix everything for everyone.
I bow to all women! And I feel honoured that I get to work with this wonderful subset of the human species.
So go forth and do what you intuitively know you need to do, to extend yourself just a little more self-care, each and every day.