Self Care is Not Selfish

For this week’s blog, I want to discuss the basics of self-care. 

Self care is not selfish—it is essential for your wellbeing. 

If you are not taking care of yourself, it will be nearly impossible to process your emotions.  To survive and thrive throughout a life transition you need to make yourself a priority.

It is extremely common for women to put ourselves last, or very far down the list.  We are care givers by nature.  I was in that place for a long time, where I took cake of everyone but myself. 

Consequently, my self esteem and confidence suffered.  Every little thing that happened in my life would stress me out.

If the school sent the dreaded lice email, I was in panic mode.  I elevated everything

This mindset shift didn’t happen for me overnight.  As I gradually started to love myself again and value my energy, I slowly began to not worry about the little things in life.  Changing my perspective, allowed me to see them as energy drainers that are not worth my time.

I know that changing an ingrained mindset is hard, especially when you are so used to taking care of everyone and being a “doer”.  However, I want you to think about this for a minute.  If you are happy, calm (most of the time), and not crazy stressed out, do you think it enhances or decreases your ability to care for and love your people?

You know the answer. 

Most of what I am going to tell you is nothing new.  You know it, but don’t always do it. 

You want to set yourself up for success when dealing with a divorce or any other life transition.  Part of that is getting back to basics in terms of self care, and actually doesn’t take too much effort. Start by building a strong foundation with your health and wellness.  Ask yourself these questions:

Am I getting enough sleep?

Am I eating right or am I consuming excess sugar and refined foods?

Am I moving my body?

Am I excessively consuming alcohol or other toxic substances to numb my pain?

Am I drinking enough water?

After doing a self assessment, see where you can make tweaks in these areas.  Small changes add up over time and do make a difference.  A 10 minute walk each day, swapping fruit for chocolate, cutting out sugar and alcohol, and upping your water intake might be enough to start getting proper sleep. 

You don’t need to make a complete overhaul. Think of one way you can make an improvement in each category. Then commit to doing it for 10 days.  See how you feel. 

I know that during my most stressful times, my sleep was severely compromised.  I would fall asleep and wake up on and off all night.  My nervous system was a mess, so I needed some extra help in the sleep category.  You can hop on Google and find a ton of information on improving sleep, but this is what works for me. 

I use lavender essential oil on my pillow and pulse points to create calmness.  When needed white noise or a box fan can makes the perfect background for deep sleep.  Getting off devices and screens 30 minutes to 1 hour before falling asleep is very helpful.   A bedtime routine of reading and gratitude journaling to end the day on a happy note leads to a more peaceful state.  And when things are really tough, try listening to a meditation and breathe it out.

These things seem so basic, but often we don’t even do the easy tasks to take care of ourselves.

Starting to take care of yourself will make you aware of how you feel.  This will alert you to when something is off balance and when you need to reassess and make more tweaks.

By committing to these baseline self-care items, you will start to see your energy increase and be better equipped to handle the ups and downs of your life.   

What changes are you going to make to improve your self-care?

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