“I fall into an immediate shame pit when I hear the phrase ‘self-care.’”
“Self-care is just one more area in my life where I am falling short.”
“Self-care is just not in the cards for me right now. I have too many other things on my plate.”
Most of you can probably relate to one or more of these statements, or have felt this way at some point in your life. I certainly have!
My goal for 2017 is to share the most effective self-care strategies that will help you reframe the way you even think about the notion of caring for yourself.
My hope is that you will get to a point where you cannot imagine going through a day without doing at least something that is good for you physically, mentally, relationally, or spiritually, even if it is just for 10 minutes. You will not feel complete without it.
Sounds far-fetched? You with me?
We are going to do this together, guys. Because we can and because we have to.
Why do we have to?
Well, because, as Brene’ Brown reveals, “We are the most in-debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history.”
I would say that we are in a bit of a self-care crisis.
And it is not because we are stupid. We know what is good for us. We know about healthy eating and exercise and the importance of sleep. We see it on the cover of health magazines and on Oprah.
But this strategy is not working (even Oprah struggles with self-care).
Why? Because society is giving us way too many mixed messages! We are pushed and somewhat dooped into thinking that we can have it all, should have it all, and that we should be able to do it all too!
You should be a great mom, wife, and employee/employer. Your friendships should be like Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Amanda’s of Sex and the City. You should have money (and if you don’t you still can…just open another credit card), a clean house, a cute figure, a fabulous wardrobe, and a great job (but not too great because that may impact your ability to be a great mom…so maybe you should stay home—you’ll have a better chance at doing it all perfectly). Oh and did I mention that your kids should be perfect? Yep, that too!
So, is anyone still unclear as to why so many head for the bottle, the shopping mall, the pills, the food, or the other woman or man?
It’s just too much! Society is setting us up to fail! And it is too damn painful and shameful to fail!
So pass me the Chardonnay please!
In order to make lasting self-care changes from a personal to a societal level, we need to flip-flop the self-care paradigm and move the focus from outside-in to inside-out.
Because self-care lies far beneath the surface.
Self-care is not fad diets and the new fitness trend (I heard Pound is a new one).
Devoting extra time and energy to your partner (possibly with the guidance of a professional) when your marriage gets really, really difficult.
Saying no to a person who is dragging you into his sea of despair and not willing to help himself.
Saying yes to your mother-in-law’s offer to help with the kids even though she doesn’t do everything exactly the way you like, and allowing yourself to take a nap or do something that you really need during that time.
Taking a moment of gratitude every morning when you wake up.
Asking the grocery store clerk how her day is going, looking her in the eyes, and actually listening to her response.
Self-care is not the easy path. But it is the real path. And life is going to kick us in the teeth every now and then no matter what so we are better off doing what we can to feel good within ourselves and within our relationships so that we can add true happiness and joy into the life experiences mixture.
We know we deserve better. We know we deserve to be happy. And yet we run around like chickens with our heads cut off, looking for something or hiding from something or someone (often ourselves), neglecting our true needs and our important relationships, deepening our shame pit.
Self-care is your permission slip to stop running.
To stand still.
To celebrate your internal beauty and the beauty in your life.
To love with your whole heart.
To smile about being alive.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are people who take self-care to a level that I am not talking about. Self-care is not about going to the gym and working out so you can boost your ego by showing off your chiseled body to anyone who will look. Self-care is going to the gym so you can clear your mind from a tough morning you had with your toddler, or so you can give yourself an energy boost that will help you feel happy and positive throughout the day, and that you can share with others.
Okay, so you pretty much get the self-care gist, right? Great! So now it’s time to put these words into action!
Over the next 17 weeks, I will be sharing 17 specific self-care strategies for 2017! I truly look forward to hearing your thoughts on them!
You can also look forward to a seeing few other self-care related items that I am working on this year—two gift books, a self-care workbook, and am noodling on another non-fiction book.
I can hardly wait to share them all with you and will keep you posted on their progress! I start working with my editor on the gift books and workbook next week!
And finally, as a new year’s gift and token of my appreciation to my subscribers, I would like to send you the first chapter of The Self-Care Solution absolutely free! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “SEND 1st Chapter” in the subject line, and I will send you the PDF! If you’ve already read the book, thank you! More giveaways coming very soon!
Cheers to all of you and to #selfcare2017!