Embracing Self-Care for Sustainable Success

Taking care of yourself can be a hard thing, especially when you want to achieve something and/or get something done.

Self-Care Creates Space

I know, for myself, that I just GO GO GO until something is complete. Unless I hit a snag, then it’s all about figuring out how to fix it. The problem is, I haven’t done well with letting the problem percolate. I haven’t allowed the space for new ideas and perspectives to show up. I work until I get so burned out I can’t do any more.

This is where the lesson of self-care comes in. Because keeping going for the sake of keeping going doesn’t work. It’s only when you give yourself some space and time that the new ideas pop into view.

Being worried about all the things that need to get done just drains you to the point where you can’t do anything and the pile just grows.

In the last few years, I have learned about rest and self-care and just how important it really is. But it can be a hard thing to do. “What do you mean take time for myself? That’s selfish!”, “But if I don’t help/do/support IT won’t get done!”, ”It’s OK, I’ve learned how NOT to take bathroom breaks for 12 hours at a time…I can keep going!”, or “What is this water stuff?”

Unacknowledged Self-Harm

When you really look at it, not taking a break or resting is really self-harm. Not the kind of self-harm that requires an intervention or hospitalization, but the kind that gets overlooked by everyone. Not eating, not going to the bathroom, not resting, these are all things that will take their toll on not only your body but your mind as well.

I once had an incident in which I was hospitalized and the doctor looked at me and said, “This has been going on a while.” When I asked what she meant she said, “Your body has adjusted to your lack. It can only do that over time.” They offered a solution, but I initially refused, still not fully understanding what was happening to me.

The next doctor came in and explained it beautifully. He said, “There’s this cliff. You’re standing at the edge of it with a foot dangling off, peering into the abyss and wondering if you can fly. We’re here to pull you back.” I said, “Oh, so you’re saying I have a foot in the box.” His response was, “No, honey. You’ve got a LEG in the box.” To which I replied, “Ok, let’s implement the solution.”

This adventure was caused by my NOT paying attention to what I needed mentally, physically, or emotionally. I had to start with the physical.

Self-Care is NOT Selfish

It’s not selfish to take the time to refresh your mind, body, and soul. And I understand that when you’re used to just GOING all day, taking some time and doing something ‘fun’ or ‘lazy’ is completely foreign. Take it in increments. Sit in the sun and do nothing but feel it on your face and body for 5-minutes for a week. Take the time to notice its warmth and feel the breeze as you’re standing there. Even this 5-minutes will work wonders for your psyche.

It’s OK to stop ‘working’ and do something artistic. To take some time and have lunch with a friend. Heck, even take a nap in the middle of the day!

Where are some areas in which you are neglecting yourself and what springs to mind that you could do to rectify that?

You are your first line of defense against all that is out there. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be there for those you love or who need your support.

It can be a tough thing to take up space and fulfill your own needs before those of others, but I encourage you to start small and gift yourself a hug and some rest. It will do a world of good.

Leave me a comment on ideas you have around self-care.

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