Is your self-care the first thing to be sacrificed when the going gets tough?
By overwriting our own self-care with the needs of others, we are sending ourselves a message that we are not as important as they are. We are also saying that we should be able to cope without self-care. Both of these messages reinforce the message in our minds that we are not enough which does little to nurture our confidence. For most people, self-care comes under the category of ‘Important, not Urgent’, whereas other people’s needs or the needs of a job are often subconsciously categorised as ‘Important, and Urgent’, automatically placing them higher in the priority list. We have been conditioned to believe that we are robots who can stay productive out of sheer bloody-mindedness and that self-care is a luxury for those in a different situation to ours. The cold hard truth is that we are hormonal, biological, social and emotional beings that, just like any other animal, need a certain balance to thrive. Without you, what happens? Do the rest of the things on the to-do list magically get done if you are taken out? Probably not, which means that self-care should probably replace most things in the ‘Important, and Urgent’ box.
What is the impact on every day life?
Your lack of investment and confidence in yourself means that you create stories in your mind about acceptance, love and safety only being possible if you over-achieve and make sure everyone else is happy with you. Failing to adequately care for ourselves leads to resentment, overwhelm and more chance of failing at tasks through exhaustion.
Societal pressures mean that all too often we can prioritize being busy over our own self care. This is especially true when we have role models who are haven’t modelled what self care looks like and its importance in a balanced life. Simple changes in mindset can help us to let go of the guilt surrounding self care and help us to realise the positive impact it can actually have on our lives.
Reflect on what self-care looks like for you.
It doesn’t matter what it is, just take a moment to reconnect and then schedule space in your calendar for this to happen every day.
Once you get into the habit of prioritising self-care, your brain will start to get the message that you are worth investing in and this will kick start a positive confidence cycle.
Download the worksheet below to find ways to improve your self care routine.