THE SELF-CARE CHALLENGE
How To Easily Incorporate Self-Care In Your Busy Life
You work hard, rushing through your days racing to complete a never ending “To-Do” list, running and running yet never catching up.
You end up going to sleep each night beating yourself up for not completing the unrealistic tasks you planned and wake up the next day trying to chase those ever increasing items on your list.
You give up your lunch hour, or eat at your desk mindlessly, to focus on what seems more important; checking items off the list.
You decline offers to meet friends because you’re swamped with so many things that need to be done and you simply don’t have the time or are too tired.
You are continuously stressed and can’t remember when the last time you had a hearty laugh, a good time, or just felt relaxed.
You are exhausted.
How the heck do other people manage to create balance in their life?
You want to figure out a way to balance your life too, but right now it seems impossible.
You are depleted from life’s demands on you.
You take care of everyone around us. But who is taking care of you?
Does this sound like you? Maybe you haven’t reached that point yet, but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about and know that nagging feeling of constantly taking care of others and having no time for yourself.
You’re not alone. In fact, most of us feel this way daily.
We accept it as our norm, surrendering to the feeling of overwhelm as if it’s one of life’s facts.
But, what if I told you it were possible to find a better way? Possible to nurture and take care of yourself without neglecting those around you.
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?
Well, you can!
When we’re stressed, self-care is usually the first thing to go. And that only makes things worse.
To us, ‘self-care’ is just another word for ‘being-selfish’ because that’s what we were taught.
‘Take care of others’
‘Don’t be selfish’
It’s not working very well for us is it?
It’s also not working very well for the people in your life.
As indulgent and extravagant as the words “self-care” may sound, it’s a basic need that is crucial to your functioning, well-being and for those around you.
THE EFFECTS OF NEGLECTING SELF-CARE
Let’s take a bit of an overview of our life when we don’t take the time for self-care and how it impacts you, and the people around you.
When you don’t take the time for self-care, you are overwhelmed, depleted, irritable, short tempered, dissatisfied, stressed, and most likely not feeling very good about yourself or your life.
You end up snapping at your loved ones, finding it hard to focus, lonely (when was the last time you had a nice chat with a friend?), frustrated, resentful and grumpy.
Not a great place to nurture a nice relationship from is it?
That is what you are giving to the people around you. Those you love and care for. Every time they need you, every time they want from you, they can see and feel the burden of their needs weighing over you and the resentment of giving from an empty place that is unfulfilled and incapable of giving wholeheartedly.
Not the way you want to give and not the way they want to receive.
What are you teaching them?
You’re teaching them the lack of value of yourself, your declining self-worth and your boundaries (or lack of).
Your peers begin to learn that your value is one of no boundaries and are last in priority because that’s how you treat yourself.
Your kids learn that this is how one should live, and by your example, will grow up believing in these values and living their lives as you have showed them by your example.
I know, you probably want to scream and yell at me right now, and tell me that it’s not true, and that you do care about yourself, and that you don’t want your kids to be like that, but when you have a high demanding job, and kids, and life and, and, and….
Yup, I know exactly what you are talking about, because I was there too. I still sometimes find myself in that place of overwhelm, depletion, challenged to practice boundaries and allowing time for self-care.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
Self-care is the difference between showing up in the world as a depleted, exhausted, short tempered martyr, or a joyful, heartfelt giving person, with room for compassion, and patience to give with love and a smile wholeheartedly.
Self-care prevents “overload burnout”, that place you push yourself to the point that you can’t take anymore so you just give up. Self-care helps you avoid getting to that point.
Self-care makes you a better person to be around with your loved ones.
Self-care improves your relationships.
Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, sometimes called self-love. It produces positive feelings, which improves confidence and self-esteem.
Self-care reduces the negative effects of stress; (a small amount of stress can serve a purpose but after a while, it breaks down your mind and body.) Taking care of yourself means keeping your stress levels at bay so you can function at full capacity.
Self-care helps you refocus, take a break. Breaks are the epitome of self-care, and studies show they’re great for improving performance.
“Self-Care is not a reward. It’s the essential basic”.
Sometimes I treat self-care as a reward. I’m so hungry I can barely think, but I’ll force myself to finish a batch of work before I eat lunch. What I’m really doing is making my job more difficult by allowing myself to run on fumes.
While rewards can motivate us to keep working hard. They're the light at the end of the tunnel. But they are not self-care.
Self-care is a necessity for a healthy, well rounded balanced life.
SELF-CARE AND RELATIONSHIPS
Self-care is crucial for your mind, soul and physical health; as well as your relationships
Self-care is important for your family and friends too. They learn from you, and how you treat yourself and how you treat them will determine the core foundation of your relationships.
So setting functional boundaries to take care of yourself shows them your value of both yourself and the relationship, contrary to what you think, the people that love you want you to take good care of yourself and be happy. They enjoy your company much more when you are replenished and centered.
Unhealthy relationships come about when you don’t take time to satisfy your own needs.
Without self-care, your relationships with others can suffer tremendously.
To put it in the most blunt way possible; if you don’t make time for you to take care of yourself, you will continue paying the price of stress related issues in all aspects of your life. And be prepared to struggle in your relationships (just another stress you could do without)
When you avoid things that make you feel physically and mentally well, you deplete your confidence and self-esteem.
If self-care means better relationships, why stand in your own way?
NEGLECTING SELF-CARE IS SELFISH
Neglecting to take care of yourself is selfish! If you do not practice self-care you are making a choice to show up short-tempered, stressed and resentful towards those you love.
Not practicing self-care is putting the guilt and lack of happiness on them. That is selfish!
The analogy about self-care comparing it to the oxygen masks in airplanes is so true. Just as you’re supposed to secure your own mask before you assist others, you need to take care of yourself before you are able to give wholeheartedly to others. If you can’t breathe, you can’t help anyone else; this is the core of what self-care means.
HOW TO PRACTICE SELF-CARE
Practicing self-care is much the same as putting on your oxygen mask first. You have to take care of your own mental and physical health before you can truly devote yourself to your family and friends.
We often think of self-care as something that takes a lot of time, costs money that we can’t afford. It interrupts us from completing “more important tasks”. The truth is, there is nothing more important than you and, self-care doesn’t have to cost a dime!
In general, self-care is any activity or behavior that has a positive effect on your mental and physical health. It’s different for each person but the end result is the same: reduce stress, preserve relationships, maintain a beneficial work/life balance, and nurture your mental and physical well-being.
The only “right way” to do it is the way that works best for you.
Self-care involves some introspection.
It requires you to identify your needs and take the necessary steps to meet them. Work towards treating yourself as compassionately as you treat your loved ones.
While all of this may seem obvious, many of us (myself included) often put the needs of others first setting our own needs aside; damaging our mental health in the interim.
Practicing self-care and meeting your own needs will make you a more valuable and pleasant partner, parent, friend, employee while also helping you to interact more purposefully in the world around you.
All the above will make you like yourself even more, and increase your self esteem.
Self-care is all about nurturing, relaxing, invigorating and uplifting your spirits, and feel light and enjoyment. It’s not a chore, and should not feel heavy, or burdening.
MY OWN EXPERIENCE WITH SELF-CARE
It took me many years to find my way into self-care without feelings of guilt and without the voices in my head condemning me for being selfish by choosing myself before others.
After a time of committed practice I noticed the changes this practice made in my life as well as how it positively affected my relationships with those around me. I showed up more relaxed, full, and satisfied in the world. I was happy to give wholeheartedly and felt so much more content in life.
I now make sure to schedule at least three self-care activities every month. It’s a nonnegotiable commitment that benefits me and those I live with understand and are supportive of this time as they see the benefits and are devoted to their own self-care activities.
I gladly give myself ‘me time’ regularly and it keeps my life in balance.
LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN
Are you ready to step into your own self-care practice?
Are you ready to have fun, balance and less stress in your life?
Are you ready to have better relationships?
How much self-care are you willing to give yourself this month?
Join me in the October Self-Care Challenge:
You will receive FREE Download Check Sheet filled with simple, easy, self-care ideas for you to choose from and template to add your own ideas.
Each time you do one of the self-care items, you can check them off and see how many self-care actions you have given yourself throughout the month.
You will also get a personal invitation to our close Facebook challenge page, where we you will receive more tips on self-care, get encouragement and support AND at the end of the month, the people who managed to take most self-care actions (proven by pictures posted) will receive special prizes:
First place: A FREE one on one session with me (by Skype or phone). (a $150.00 worth).
Second place: will receive a self-care package filled with special goodies.
Third place: will receive a handmade organic felted soap with pure essential oils.
But that's not all. You will receive more goodies and inspirations throughout the month when you join the challenge.
Enter your name and e-mail bellow and get started.