So I have been a bit of a two face. I teach and preach self-care, but I don’t always follow my own teachings. I tend to live my life by a to-do list. I tell myself that tomorrow will be different, but the lists seem to never end. I put such pressure on myself and often times I feel I am sacrificing true happiness for productivity. Being struck by the flu this week has blessed me with seeing the error of my ways. It was left me somewhat helpless and reliant on others to help me in accomplishing some of my day to day tasks. I realized that the world does not come to an end if I take a few days of rest. I was discussing this with my sister yesterday evening. She reminded me of the inflight instructions to always put your mask on before assisting others with their masks. This holds true in general life as well.
By self-care I don’t mean just physical care and eating right, I also mean emotional self-care. We tend [and by we I mean I tend] to be harsh on ourselves. We say things to ourselves that we would never say to our child or love one. We ruminate the same negative message about ourselves over and over. Often times I play out negative scenarios like “she must think I am incompetent for missing that” or “they did not return my calls so they must be upset with me”. This week I missed a friend’s son’s birthday party and I found myself waking up at night beating myself up for forgetting about the party. I must have said to myself 25 times, “I can’t believe you missed the birthday party”. But in truth, my friend seemed to totally understand my missing the party. When we find ourselves having these unproductive, negative conversations in our heads we need to be fully aware of the damage we are doing to ourselves.
While it is good to be productive and accountable, we need to treat ourselves with the same kindness we would treat our child, love one or friend. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Love yourself and don’t feel you need to do all and be all. It’s okay for that list not to be accomplished and try putting self-care and self-love on your list. Tell yourself on a daily basis that you are a winner, beautiful person and totally awesome. Because you are…and so am I.
Sending you kind and loving thoughts,