I think by now we are all aware of the benefits of self care and that incorporating it into our lifestyles serves as a greater good. But, what we don’t address nearly as often is how difficult it can be to implement self care and as such why so many of us don’t get round to it and those of us that do get consumed by guilt when enacting it.
It can feel like self care is one big to do list and on top of our many other to do lists at work, home, with friends, family etc etc as such it can become another cumbersome tick box activity of things we have to do rather than something we can and should do to feel good.
We understand that eating well, working out and going to bed on time are all means of living a healthy life and applications of self care. But after a long day that walk you had planned is replaced by an evening on the sofa, the home cooked meal is superseded by 20% off delivery and an early night is pushed to the side in favour of endless scrolling. We get it, it happens to the most well intentioned of us. Just because we know something is good for us doesn’t mean that we are going to do it (we are human after all).
By figuring out why self care can feel overwhelming and perhaps exhausting, we can find ways to stay on track and stick with it even if we do occasionally fall off the wagon.
Like all the best things in life, self care requires effort. When you’re tired and in need of self care, most of us quite frankly can’t be bothered! Acknowledging this allows us to be realistic and instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water we can come to compromises. Instead of forgoing the walk, ordering the takeaway and burning the midnight oil, you might walk to the take away save on the washing up and still get to bed early. It’s about doing what we can manage and what will make us feel good.
Continuing with being realistic, it’s best to set self care goals that are actually attainable. There is no joy to be had in setting ourselves up for failure. Creating a sliding scale of achievability will enable you to have things that you can do (and meet) on days where you’re feeling on top of the world and those for when you want to stay under the duvet. Much like life, self care is about balance.