Self care is hard for a lot of women. At face value, that doesn't always make a lot of sense. After all, self care is good for you.
So why is self care so bloody hard?
Self care is hard for different women for different reasons. If you're struggling to make self care a part of your regular routine, read on and see if any of these reasons resonate with you.
Self Care is the Opposite of What You Learned
Particularly as a young girl, it's likely you learned to take care of others without learning to take care of yourself too. Whether your mom worked out of the house or not while you were growing up, odds are she was the one who was looking after getting dinner on the table, keeping the house clean, and making sure everyone was clean, dressed and presentable when they walked out the door in the morning. But how many memories do you have of your mom taking care of herself? Odds are, they are special memories - when she was getting dressed up for a date with your dad or putting on her Sunday best for church each weekend.
Whether your mom worked out of the house or not while you were growing up, odds are she was the one who was looking after getting dinner on the table, keeping the house clean, and making sure everyone was clean, dressed and presentable when they walked out the door in the morning. But how many memories do you have of your mom taking care of herself? Odds are, they are special memories - when she was getting dressed up for a date with your dad or putting on her Sunday best for church each weekend.
As you grew up, it's also most likely that you weren't taught a whole lot about self-care either. What memories do you have of learning to take care of yourself? Having not learned about self-care in your early life, making it a priority in later life goes against your learnings until now. And that's not easy to do.
To overcome this one, it's time to learn new habits. What does self care look like in your life? What do you want it to look like in your life? Thinking back on when you have successfully trained yourself into a new habit, what did you to do make it stick? How can you do the same to make self-care a habit in your life too?
Self Care is Selfish
When you're feeling exhausted or overwhelmed and finally decide to make time for a little me-time, you end up feeling selfish.
While you're supposed to be relaxing on a long walk, you spend the time thinking about everything that still needs to be done when you get home and wondering why you are wasting time like this.
You spend a little money on yourself for a change and then feel guilty about not giving your kids something they wanted instead.
You want a couple of quiet minutes to yourself at the end of the day, but find yourself hiding out in the bathroom to do it because you know someone will ask you for something if you are anywhere else.
There's that voice in your head that says there is always something else that you should be doing with your time, your money, or your attention.
To overcome this one, you're going to need to be vigilant about the thoughts in your head. What is your self-talk saying? What better and kinder things can you tell yourself so self care doesn't feel selfish? Self care is essential to your health, happiness, and relationships. So start talking to yourself about how amazing it is and how you deserve it!
You Fail When You Try
You realize you need to start taking care of yourself. You see that you're putting yourself on the bottom of the priority list and you're determined to make some changes.
You start your new self-care routine with the best of intentions. Within days you've fallen back into the same old patterns. Then you either forget about your new self-care ambitions or you get into that vicious cycle of negative self-talk about how you can't do this. Either way, it doesn't take long to give up.
To overcome this one, remember that self-care is a habit. You're going to need to intentionally recommit to yourself every day until it becomes second-nature. Put a post-it note on your bathroom mirror or your coffee pot - somewhere you're going to see it every morning - reminding you that you matter and that you are going to practice self-care today and always.
Stil Not Sure How To Make It Happen?
If you're still feeling like you could use a little support in making self-care a reality, in finally taking care of yourself as well as you take care of everyone around you, join me Thursday, June 29 at 11 am EST for "Self-Care for Stressed-Out Women: Learn to Take Care of You As Effectively as You Take Care of Everyone Else. I'm going to be sharing my self-care map, a surefire strategy for creating a self-care plan that actually sticks.
It's a free program. All you have to do is sign up to join me! Can't make it live? Register anyway to get the recording and learn to make self-care a meaningful part of your day on your own time.