Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot of about what I’m calling self-care shaming. I work hard. Like really $@%*?!ing hard. On top of that, every single day someone begs me to go to bed on time, finish working for the day, drink more water, eat a healthy meal, spend more quality time with my family, etc.
And of course they are all right. All of those things would be good for me. And while they mean well, the constant reminders to take care of myself can sometimes have the opposite effect. Self-care can feel like just another area where we are failing.
Sometimes balance just isn’t possible. They don’t always know, my household is a single income household at the moment. Every minute I’m not working on The Officials can make a big impact on our finances. So it’s all well and good to meditate, take long baths (my personal fav), stop at 5pm and more – it isn’t always realistic.
Plus, I hear story after story after story every week from Officials across the globe who need a push, support, advice and more and I know how much work needs doing to help them all. It fuels me.
So while I appreciate their concern, and yes I need a reminder every now and again…I suck at self-care and at not feeling guilty about it…until now.
So what do we do when we know we need self-care but real balance just isn’t in the cards at the moment? Here’s the advice I have started giving myself and others who have told me this has happened to them as well.
Self-care for those that suck at it
- Be thankful
Thank the person who reminded you. I like, “I’m working on it. Thanks for the reminder.”
- Shake it off
Shake off the guilt and remind yourself that you are doing your best.
- Accept the kindness
Accept that the person is trying to help and only wants good things for you despite not being able to understand the complexity of your own situation.
- One habit is good enough
Try to define what simple self-care looks like to you. Just one habit. For me it’s a long bath. I try to have at least 2 a week. If I get to do more, I am winning at life.
- Listen to your body and mind
You know what is best for you, so listen to yourself. This past weekend my body and mind told me they could not go any further. If I tried to work any more, I was going to produce rubbish work and most likely stare at my screen for hours and have little to show for it. So I slept all day on Saturday. Like all day. And on Sunday I went with my family to the countryside for a lovely day of autumnal exploration. I started fresh this morning and have soooo many more ideas because I allowed my brain to rest. But it took me weeks and weeks to get to a point where I knew it was time to take a break and reset. Of course, I now feel super behind but I took time to prioritize and make a more realistic timetable. Slightly more realistic…why can’t it all just be done yesterday?!
Comment below if you ever feel this as well. I’d love to hear your story and know I’m not alone.
Originally published in The Dossier, our newsletter. To get your copy sign-up today.