I have something to say about Self Care. And please believe me. It’s not like this mission of mine to ‘go against the grain. I mean, I love diversity, but I’d also love us all to be on the same page. (Or at least a similar chapter chaknowwhatimean? I completely hear my four year old Eli responding “jelly bean!” right now)
ANYway. You know those memes, like “Cancel the plans. Say no to the coffee date. Stay home instead. Nothing is more important than your mental health.”
Yeah. About that.
Here’s the thing. Our Mental Wellness is important. I’m not debating that. Our peace, our space, our boundaries. Respecting that is of massive benefit. Right. Yes. I agree.
Are you wanting to cancel your plans because you’ve taken on SO much in your life and you need to do that hard, brave work of pulling back and saying “I just can’t right now. I need to reschedule.” Or are you using your Mental Un-Wellness – you know, your anxiety. Your feeling depressed. Your phobias. Are you using these as excuses to revert from life and calling it, “prioritizing my self care?”
Mother. Sister. Woman. Friend,
Two important things here.
Adopting the mindset of living in Self Care.
Do you believe you are worthy of having your needs met? Without this foundation, you won’t even care to execute. You’ll think lies like “It’s selfish. I’M selfish. I’m too busy. I have too many other responsibilities.” Yeah, if this sounds like you then begin with number one. Repeat to yourself “I am worthy of having my needs met.” And while this affirmation is fantastic (and those in general…) if you don’t believe – if your subconscious isn’t on board with this idea – then you might as well be mantra-ing “I have pink hair.” No, you don’t. (Well, it’s 2019 so maybe you do. Just insert another color there pretty lady.) The point is –
You don’t have [insert color here] hair. No matter how much you tell yourself, or think to yourself, or write it on the mirror for yourself to see. And that’s fine, it’s totally ok. You don’t need pinkblackpurplebrownyellow hair to do this. You don’t need to start with the facts to adopt the belief. We can work with this. Here’s the only prerequisite you need:
That you’re willing to consider it may be true.
Then there’s a few things you can do from here. Repeat the mantra “I am worthy of having my needs met,” if you are ready to adopt this. Then you’re going to simply be reminding yourself until it’s a known fact right down to your somatic experience.
Repeat the mantra “I am willing to believe that I am worthy of having my needs met.” since you are kinda ready to maybe adopt this idea. You say this until you are ready to repeat the above statement.
Or, you just take a moment to get real with yourself. I know my husband would call All of The Above “fluff,” and if you feel the same way then here’s what you do. Get out a journal. Write down “I am worthy of having my needs met.” Notice whatever comes up for you right there. Write it down. Listen, if you want to adopt this belief but it feels so foreign to you and mantras feel fake – then start asking yourself why you don’t believe this, and then – and here’s the really magical part – start writing down why you CAN believe this. I want you to gather as much evidence here as you can. Internet it. Ask a mentor. Ask your heart. Because the goal here is simply to persuade yourself that it can be true. Then a mantra won’t be voiced to convince you, but to reinforce you.
Find a way to really believe what it is you want to believe. Secondly,
Self Care is about more than manicures and bubble baths.
If that’s your thing – I’m not knockin’. Just consider this: maybe when we think of Self Care, the things that automatically come to mind are all the ways in which we could be pampered – because it’s what we know and it’s the message we’re seeing at large. Maybe it’s because we don’t know what it feels like to be soul-level pampered – to have one of our most fundamental human needs truly met – connection. It’s interesting to me that a bath could rank higher than a hug in our perceptions. When you look at Self Care through the lens of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in the first three tiers he would say: To care for yourself, you need to survive (you’re reading this, you’re alive, check), you need to feel safe (you’re safe and secure enough in this moment to be reading these words -subconscious patterning is a different story- so, mostly check) and lastly you need Society. A connection with others. A sense of belonging.
So what am I trying to say?
That pedis are petty and bubbles, banned? Not at all. I’m saying this is mostly surface. I’m saying that if we really want to add Self Care (like self-care is a “thing” I don’t even like that wording) how about… if we want to experience the fulfillment of truly caring for ourselves (yes that feels better!) then what we’ll be seeking to engage in is the coffee date. It is the maintaining of our plans. It’s the phone call with a good friend and the afternoon walk with our neighbor. It’s scheduling time to “be” with one another – and then to live out of the fruit, those experiences that we initiated for ourselves, produce. THAT is Self Care. That is living out the worthiness mindset we have of our needs being met.
Because you are.
Of met needs, and deeply nourishing Self Care. Maybe the perception you need most… is one another.
In that truth,