why self-care isn’t what you thought it was

why self-care isn’t what you thought it was

THE SIMPLE LIFE NOTEBOOK why self-care isn’t what you thought it was   We tend to think that self-care is a grand gesture that takes planning, money and time.  In fact, good self care is quite the opposite.  

Self care isn’t a spa break/holiday to the Maldives/world cruise (delete where appropriate)

Although of course it can be (and I’m willing to test this out if anyone wants to take me somewhere) but most of us don’t get the chance to do this on a daily basis and that’s when we need self care.  It’s not a special surprise to say ‘well done’ – it’s a breath-by-breath, minute by minute equaliser.  It keeps you afloat and stops you from drowning.  It supports your life day by day.  You might already be swimming against the tide by the time you get to the posh hotel with spa facilities, fancy salt room and Prosecco on tap and no amount of hot stone massages is gonna save you then.

Self care isn’t indulgent

Every Monday morning there’s a reminder on my phone that says ‘watch a film’.  Really, Monday mornings aren’t that conducive to sitting down to a blockbuster but I try to do it anyway.  It’s the morning my daughter is at school for 3 hours, so I have some time to myself.  I’m aware that these ‘free’ hours could easily slip away and I would be left feeling frustrated and annoyed that I’d just spent the last 3 hours cleaning the loo.  (I know – that’s one shiny toilet).  If you are going to do self care you need to treat it like any other job. Put it on your to do list, make it a priority and show up week after week. You’re not gonna get through 8 Series of Gilmore Girls sitting on your ass, well you are, but you get my point.  Put as much effort into your self care as you do your working life and you will see the benefits straight away.  

Self care isn’t a hot bath

Well it is and isn’t.  Self care should be something you do to enhance your life not something you enjoy doing that also helps you function as a human.  I’m quite fond of going for a pee on my own but that’s not self care.  Baths are no different.  My boiler has broken this week.  Sitting in an inch of lukewarm water is not self care, it’s basic hygiene.  Laying around with some relaxing music, a good book and a glass of wine is self care.

Self care isn’t a treat for working hard

The main reason we can find self care so difficult to fit into our life is that on some level we have a belief that we don’t deserve it or that our efforts haven’t warranted a ‘treat’.  If we haven’t pulled a late shift, got a promotion or earned money outside the home we are not worthy of meeting our base needs to relax, recover and be ourselves. This is so untrue! Now go get yourself a Margarita.

Self care isn’t something you don’t have time for

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.” ― Dallin H. Oaks.  Therefore if you have zero desire to give yourself some self care you won’t.  More likely your guilt and worry about treating yourself ‘too’ kindly will eat you up and your desire will be overtaken by a desire to overwork.  We all have the same about time, we all have 60 seconds in a minute – it’s how we choose to use it that is different. Ultimately, if we work too hard and don’t rest, we risk burnout. We have to choose a kinder path.  If you want to see what might be blocking your path to self care – sign up below for our free downloadable workbook.

These are my list of favourite self care ideas. They’re short, intentionally and don’t cost the earth.  

THE SIMPLE LIFE NOTEBOOK why self-care isn’t what you thought it was

It’s not complicated it’s actually refreshingly easy.  Try one, your mental health will thank you for it.

Other posts in this series

Why rest makes you more productive 

The 4 gifts of Burnout

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