Self-Care is Not Selfish (& The Cost of NOT Practicing It)
A few years ago I didn’t care about self-care. In hindsight, I was super depressed and at a really low point in my life. I knew what self-care was, but didn’t think I had time for it or that it was very important. It felt more like a luxury for people who had their shit together.
Today I want to share my story about how and why I started practicing self-care regularly.
I’ll always be honest with you here. My goal is to share my journey, the good and the bad because I’m a real person. I don’t claim to be perfect and I find all the fake-ness online exhausting. If you’re struggling, trust me, you’re not alone. Know that you can get through anything, bad times are only temporary. I’m sharing my story from how things were really bad to how they’re much better and continuing to improve the more I learn and experiment with ways to manifest a really awesome life.Life is like a work of art, improvement is never done and there’s always something to do better or be better at no matter who you are.Click To Tweet
Back to my story…
I quit caring about myself altogether. It’s not my finest time in life, but that’s what really happened. Back then I was focused solely on hustling in my business, trying to figure things out, increase my impact and income. All I could think about was how I could improve my life the fastest way possible because, at the time, it sucked pretty bad.
I. was. miserable.
I had a full-time job that was killing me. This job wasn’t right for me from day one, but being young not knowing any better, and because the money and benefits were good, I stayed…for 12 years. I know, crazy, right? But that’s a story for another time.
I knew I needed to find a way out of it and knew finding another crappy job wasn’t going to cut it for me. My dream was always to own my own business and not have to deal with office politics and thankless, boring work.
I got up at 4:15 A.M. 7 days a week. I worked on my business until 7:30 A.M., got ready for work and then went to my job until 4:30 P.M. Then I’d walk straight home and sat down at my computer for even more working on my business until 9:30 or 10:00 P.M. On weekends I’d wake up at my usual time and sit at my desk for most of the day.
I’m not proud, but it’s the truth.
As you can imagine, this was negatively affecting all areas of my life, from my health to my relationship with my husband, family, and friends. Bless these people for not throwing in the towel with me, trust me, looking back, it would have been more than understandable if they would have.
I thought the answer to all my problems was online and building a business. I did that for a year and a half and I started gaining weight like crazy. I stopped weighing myself altogether because I was in denial about how bad things were. I didn’t care because I thought I had to keep working.
Exercise and taking care of myself took the back seat and figuring out how to make my business work became THE ANSWER to all my problems.
I read about really successful people and watched videos and the message I got was to be successful you have to want it more than anything else, you have to do what other people won’t and you have to be obsessed with your goal. This is fine advice but I missed the message of how important self-care was throughout the process.
The longer time went on the poorer my health got.
I was always tired and irritable. I had 3-4 headaches per month that would put me out of commission for days. I had a stomach ache that rarely went away. My memory was terrible and my focus was practically non-existent. I’d look in the mirror and not even recognize myself. My anxiety was through the roof.
I couldn’t see the situation for what it was. I was too close to it. I was horribly depressed and felt hopeless most of the time. What I was doing in all areas of my life wasn’t working.
I saw myself as a failure and figured that was why I felt so terrible. If I had more hours in a day and could work harder I know everything would fall in place and work out, right? WRONG.
If you’re digging a hole and want to get out the first step is to STOP DIGGING.
The reason I was feeling so terrible and not making much progress is that I wasn’t taking care of myself.
I had no idea that taking regular breaks to take care of myself would be the missing piece to the puzzle I was so desperately trying to figure out.
It didn’t occur to me that self-care was the key to doing more, being a person people would be drawn to and ultimately manifesting what I want.
Law of Attraction side note:
If you’re feeling tons of resistance and struggle that’s a pretty good indication you need to change things up. I firmly believe to leverage the Law of Attraction you need to take consistent, inspired action. BUT, that doesn’t involve tons of struggle and killing yourself to make something happen.
It makes total sense to me now. If I don’t care about myself how can I get others to care? How can I be the person people want to listen to, look to for inspiration, motivation, and advice. It’s pretty easy, I can’t…and I didn’t.
If you’re in alignment with what you want to manifest, you won’t have to kill yourself to get it.
You won’t have to effort and struggle to make it happen. When your vibe is raised, you’re practicing self-care and regularly visioning it to already have happened, you’ll be shocked at how easily things just fall into place. So if you’re struggling to make something happen, ask yourself what you can be doing to get into alignment and raise your vibe.
I needed to become a person who could lead with confidence and inspire people to be better, do better and live to their potential too. Ultimately, I needed to start practicing what I was preaching and set an example, not preach to people what they should be doing when I wasn’t doing it myself.
If manifesting abundance in all areas of your life is important to you read on to learn more about why self-care is so important to making it happen.
Reason 1: Self-care increases your self-worth.
If you look in the mirror and like what you see…if you’re becoming the person you know you can be so will other people. Don’t expect perfection from yourself. I’m a work in progress and so are you and that’s okay. Just focus on doing a little better than the day before. Take baby steps and celebrate yourself for even the small wins.
Ideas to Increase Self-Worth as part of your self-care:
Put affirmations and reminders of the things you’re doing well and things you’re manifesting around where you’ll see them. Journal about how your day went and celebrate yourself and your accomplishments, no matter how small.
Be the scientist.
Decide on a self-care practice you’d like to try and then track how you feel each day. If you feel better, keep doing it. If you don’t, then try another thing. It’s okay to try and decide you don’t like something later, but how do you know if you don’t try at all?
Lastly, START SMALL. Don’t try to add multiple new things to your life while taking things away that you normally do. That’s a recipe for failure. Choose ONE tiny habit you can try, do it consistently and get some results. Then add another thing and so on. BJ Fogg designed a habit-building system called Tiny Habits. If you want to build healthy habits with ease, I strongly suggest you check it out. It makes building new habits flow and even kind of fun because you get results pretty quickly.
Reason 2: By practicing self-care you’re increasing your self-worth, as mentioned above, your confidence will improve too.
Tip: Keep working on yourself and stepping outside your comfort zone regularly and see what it does to your confidence.
Don’t worry about failing.
Every successful person has failed…A LOT. Don’t look at failure as bad. Look at it as a way you gathered more information about how you’re going to make things happen.
Every failure is just a step towards getting to where you want. You’re getting smarter, more resilient and stronger for having gone through it. Plus, it’s all part of the journey. It’s not about getting to where you think you should be. It’s about the journey and all you go through to get there. The story you create along the way is going to motivate you and inspire others.
Be the person who never gives up on what you want.
If you want to get good at something you have to be prepared to fail. There’s no one on the planet who was immediately good at something.
Yes, there are gifted people out there, but being tenacious and always pushing forward is what counts the most. When you do this, confidence is inevitable.
Don’t worry about how other people will see you if you fail. Unless they’re working to improve their own life then it’s really not their place to be judging you. Truthfully, people who are working on themselves won’t judge you or what you failed on anyway.
Pushing yourself does increase confidence having time to reflect and acknowledge how far you’ve come in a day, week, month or year. As mentioned above, a great self-care practice is journaling and/or keeping a running list of self-care practices and how they align with your goals…and of course, how you feel as you put these practices into play. There’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Reason 3: Self-care helps you relieve stress if as part of it you unplug from social media and electronics.
Meditation is a great way to practice self-care. If you don’t currently meditate and don’t think it’s for you, hear me out. A lot of people think meditation is about clearing your mind of thought and meditating for long periods of time.
That’s not necessarily true. You don’t have to be a Buddhist monk in deep meditation for hours and hours to get results. It’s important to find the right type of meditation for you. Meditation is something everyone can benefit from and it can be done in as little as a few minutes a day when you’re just starting out.
Other ideas of how you can relieve stress are:
- Sitting in nature
- Doing breath exercises (Try inhaling slowly to the count of 8, hold your breath for 6 seconds and then slowly exhale to the count of 12) Do this 3 times or as long as you like
- Play with your kids or pets
- Get your hair or hair done
- Go to a spa
- Grab your favorite drink and a book you’ve been meaning to read
- Allow yourself to binge your favorite show for a couple of hours
- Bake or cook something you love
- Go for a long walk and listen to nature or put on your headphones and listen to your favorite podcast or music
- Color in a coloring book
- Research new hobbies you’d like to try and make plans to start doing them
- Take a cooking or art class
- Etc. (The options are endless and they don’t have to cost you a thing.)
Reason 4: Self-care can help you work on your mindset, resilience and managing expectations.
My best advice for this is to learn something new every day on mindset and mental fortitude. Read books, watch YouTube videos, follow inspiring people who give great advice on social media. Just do something. So many adults don’t care about learning new things.
But we should never stop learning.
The brain is like a muscle and we need to use it regularly to keep it healthy and why not pick up some tools to help you from day-to-day? Get inspired, make it fun and just start small. It doesn’t have to be huge and can take as little as 3-5 minutes.
When you improve your mindset, you’re a lot less triggered, can manage stressful situations better and ultimately be more positive.
We really do decide how we feel – we choose whether we react in haste or pause and respond thoughtfully to stressful situations. This isn’t easy, but it’s something you can work on and get better at.
If you’ve got a victim mindset, work on that. The world doesn’t owe you anything and EVERYONE has hard times and goes through things that are painful and unfair. That’s life. Blaming others and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t helping — it’s only prolonging your pain and pushing happiness and fulfillment farther away.
And remember, where your mind flows, energy goes. If you want more of the same, think of awesome things you want to manifest, not the other way around. 🙂
Reason 5: Self-care can help you increase energy, focus, and motivation.
You can’t fill from an empty cup. You’re not being selfish by practicing self-care. Women are especially bad at putting their own needs last because they’re busy taking care of the people around them. If you want to show up happier and better for the important people in your life (and yourself) you’ve gotta take time to care for yourself, relax and recharge.
Reason 6: Because self-care helps you feel better, you’ll likely be happier.
When you’re happy, guess what, you’re raising your vibe! And we all know how important that is to manifesting, right? Of course, you do or you wouldn’t be here reading this. 😉
Reason 7: Taking care of yourself and regularly finding healthy ways to manage stress is just plain good for your health.
If you want to live a long, healthy life take every precaution you can to ensure that happens. Just because you have a lot going on and people who rely on you doesn’t mean you should be putting yourself last.
And you know what, you deserve it! Taking time for self-care and take time for your health and self-love. It’s that simple.
I hope this post has helped you see how important self-care is to manifesting your deepest desires and a long, happy life. Do you practice self-care? If so, let me know about your ritual and how it’s enhanced your life and manifesting power.