What is blocking you from deep self-care?
Self-care is such a beautiful idea in theory, so much more difficult to execute in reality.
I remember sitting in a counseling course in graduate school and my professor was excitedly reminding us about the importance of self-care. "You need to make sure you are taking care of yourselves so that you can show up for your clients," she said. Well that makes sense I thought.
As a perfectionist in progress and someone who deeply cares about people, this was much more difficult for me in theory. Take care of myself, easy. Until.... I really started to try and then a BUNCH of things came up for me.
So, I imagine that the former version of myself who deeply struggled with this is not alone.
Here are a few ways that we can be blocked from deep self-care....
1) You need community care & not self- care
Sooo what is the difference anyways? Community care is defined by Nakita Valero as, "People committed to leveraging their privilege to be there for one another in various ways."
One example that comes to mind is when someone first has a baby. It can be very helpful for them to get more sleep, have a few minutes to themselves, etc. With a newborn baby this can be really challenging to do "self-care" things like getting more sleep because they would need the support of others to do this. That is community care.
Knowing the difference and what you need in which moments can be so important. We NEED community, we need others and it's so important to not lose sight of this.
Not to mention, community care helps us take steps to changing systemic issues like racism.
There is so much more to say on community care, I highly recommend reading this article from Mashable.
2) You have beliefs that are blocking your ability to prioritize it. For example, self-care is "selfish"
Limiting beliefs may be blocking us from fully prioritizing our needs. It is important to explore these beliefs as well because we may not even realize that we have them.
Some limiting beliefs to explore that may be blocking your ability to prioritize loving, and caring for yourself:
I don't deserve it
Everything will fall apart if I do..... X, Y or Z
Others depend on me so it will be selfish...
What will people think?
I don't want to slow down or be alone with my thoughts because that would mean _______
I'm going to write more about this in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
3) You imagine that self-care is only bubble baths and face masks
What is the first thing you think of when you hear self-care? If you're anything like me, my mind immediately goes to bubble baths and face masks.
Yet, self-care goes well beyond all of that.... AND...
You might already be doing "self-care" without even realizing it. Did you set a difficult boundary with a loved one or family member this week? Boom. Self-care. Did you meditate this morning? Check. Self-care. Did you say no to someone even though you knew it might make them upset? Yes, you guessed it. Also, self-care.
When we expand our idea and definition of what self-care is, that gives us the opportunity to use it in other areas as well.
Let's say you've been working hard at making sure you have time to relax at the end of the day so that you can improve your sleep. Then suddenly, you get a request from someone you have a hard time saying no to, to do something late into the evening, impacting your relaxing time.
What will you say? If we connect the dots and realize that saying no will also support your goals of improved sleep, it becomes easier to implement it in other places.
4) You have the opportunity to ask for help from others & you haven't been able to yet
Hey wonder womxn, I see you. And I totally respect it. Womxn are incredible at juggling all of the things all of the time. We also need help sometimes.
There may be many reasons why you haven't asked for help or support from those around you (that will also be an upcoming journal article), for now, the important thing is that you ask.
Ask & set boundaries when you need to. This can sound like, " I need you to take care of _______ while I do _______."
In the book, "Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle", the authors discuss how we need a network of support in order for us to support ourselves. This idea flows back up to point #1.
I would encourage you think about where you might be resourced and how you can implement those resources to support your self-care and self-love. If you're feeling blocked here as well, this may be an opportunity to explore either beliefs you have about what asking for help would mean for you OR the opportunity to see if you need community care instead.
There is so much to say on this topic and this only scratches the surface!
What else do you feel like blocks you from deep self-care?
P.S.Is this resonating? If yes, you might want to join our Free Online Workshop - Holiday Refresh that helps you set yourself up for self-care success during the holiday season.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information written here is my opinion and doesn't take the place of therapeutic support. You know how I feel about going to therapy-- it's an invitation for everyone to explore. If you need help with where to start for support, you can download my ultimate guide to starting therapy here.