Recently I was talking to one of my coaching clients about why we sabotage ourselves when it comes to self-care. And what I said to her made her respond and say “Oh my god I think you just changed my life”!.
Warning: the following sentence may be shocking, astonishing and life-changing…
Self-care is NOT a punishment.
Now just let that sink in for a minute…
Ask yourself these questions:
Why do you go to the gym/work out?
Why do you eat healthy/organic/gluten free?
Why do you have a morning routine with 15 things on it that must be done by the time you leave to work?
Why do you meditate?
Why do you do any of the self care that you do?
Do you want to do these things or do you do them because you feel you have to?
The other day I saw someone post that they got up at 3:30am to meditate and work out etc, now to me that is NOT self-care because I’ve finally come to accept that I am NOT a morning person and that is ok! It does not make me lazy or mean I get less things done in the day than someone who gets up at 3:30am, because we still all have the same amount of hours in the day! For so long I thought I had to be a “morning person” to be “spiritual”, to the “healthy”, to “fit in” or to be “productive”.
I am telling you all this so you can learn what I have, you don’t have to do anything! Stop doing things from a place of fear because one of two things will happen. You won’t be able to maintain the charade because you simply aren’t being true to yourself and then you’ll feel bad about yourself because you “failed”. Or you will push on with the charade and make yourself so dissatisfied and unhappy in the process. And guess what darling, life isn’t meant to be SO DAMN HARD.
When it comes to the advice I give my coaching clients, it is not about how many green juices they can drink, how many hours they meditate a day or how early they get up in the morning. It is about supporting them to let go of limiting beliefs and move towards their goals while staying true to who they are. I think it is very easy in today’s world of insta-comparisonitis (It’s ok I am guilty of this too!) to feel as though we are not good enough, not healthy enough, not spiritual enough etc, and so we punish ourselves by either beating ourselves up or by doing things we don’t want to do, or both!
So when we choose what self-care we would like to bring into our lives (yep, YOU get to choose!) it should come from a place of love. Change your mindset about why you do the things you do and really get clear about your why. So grab out your journal and take an inventory of what you do for self care and why. Once you’ve made your list, perhaps it’s time to break up with anything that does not come from a place of love, loving yourself and your beautiful temple.
I exercise regularly because I LOVE my body and exercise helps me strengthen my body so that I can be fit and healthy. This also increases my mental strength so I can be a happier person and better wife/mother/sister/employee etc.
So stop punishing yourself and start loving yourself! Get clear about what lights YOU up and fills up your cup so you are overflowing with love. No more I have to do XYZ, more I want to do XYZ.