I sat down today to write about self-care and to break the belief that it's selfish. There are so many experiences we can get from this. Not to mention being a role model for what a healthy dose of caring for ourselves looks like.
That's when I wrote a thought that brought it all to light. Dispelling the idea that we come last after our families, that we rather take care of everyone else first, that we will get to ourselves "someday."
Self-care needs to start with us and our mindset. There are 2 areas which I believe have a profound impact in the lives we lead.
#1 Deep Confidence
Is that knowing of when to put yourself first. When you realize who you are is not what you do, and you need to remind others too.
It is more than pampering and treats that you can steal an hour or so for.
It is verbalizing deep down what you know your needs to be and acting on it, balancing Ying & Yang.
A woman with Elementary School aged kids once told me. Her children just assumed she would give them her food if they asked. I mean why not she had done it all the time. She would go a little hungry or miss the delicious last bite so they could have it.
Then came the day she realized this became an expectation. Putting their wants above her own as commonplace. That deep confidence came forward and knowing it would hurt their feelings, said "No." It was a surprise, but they survived!
As you can imagine the realization grew, she was holding herself back in other areas. If her children wanted to do something, she would pay for it. However, would deny herself the same opportunity.
The biggest area I hear women holding themselves back is when it comes to bettering themselves. As in special certification, an out of state conference, a change in careers, classes, training or memberships upscale gyms.
It often goes against the grain of the rhythm of the family. Again, letting the outside of doing define the inside.
This fixed mindset creates a feeling of being trapped, fear, and resentment and guilt.
Other people (Myself included) realize they have little to no boundaries.
It's no surprise, most people have difficulty creating or sharing their boundaries, we rarely talk about them!
So, take a moment and think about what your wants/needs are deep down. What crawls under your skin, drains you, or creates a dread? They may just be ideas right now but write them down.
Think of a boundary this way: Clearly defined limits within which you are free to be yourself with no restrictions placed on you by others as to how to think, feel or act.
Reflecting back on the list can you see how they have a lot to do with self-care. You are owning your needs and often verbalizing them, with no regrets.
The hardest boundary for me was admitting to myself and family that I need space when on family trips. It was a bit confusing at first, because we're on a family trip! but taking 10 minutes to myself a couple of times a day does WONDERS! My patience/happiness level is higher because of it!
Creating a new boundary might mean an adjustment but it also removes confusion and frustration. Creating an overall lighter feeling that you can breathe, because everyone knows the rules you are playing by
This deep sense of self care may feel like a strange and uncomfortable place to be, but you'll get the hang of it.
So I say, go on a trip, take the classes, refuse to drive night-time car pool, if that's what you desire.
You are not selfish for wanting or needing something. In fact, it not only shows the family that your needs matter too but also what taking care of yourself isn't selfish.
Listen to the Deep Confidence guiding you to take care of your needs and understand your limits by creating boundaries.
Remember, Focused Direction starts when you stop to Breathe. Think. and Create. the world you want to live in!