The topic of “Self Care” seems to be really hot right now, in fact I was just featured on a recent podcast to talk about it. However this isn’t going to be your typical “Self Care” article. I’m not going to tell you to go get a massage or a manicure, I’m not even going to tell you how you can include it in your daily life (even though you really should). I’m going to tell you WHAT self care truly is and WHY you don’t include it in your daily life.
At the beginning of the podcast interview (the link will be posted at the end of this article) I was asked to share my story on self care and my history with it. My journey, like with everything else in life, was a process that began with a moment. A moment that shifted my thinking and my focus. That moment came when my husband at the time, told me after our first child that he didn't want to have anymore children. That statement stopped me dead in my tracks because that went against EVERYTHING I had been planning on since the age of 24. All of my decisions, all my actions, up until that moment where to support everything and everyone that correlated with that plan, because that was what gave me purpose. Whoever that person needed me to be, I filled that role to the hilt. Because to me, that was who I was, I was whomever they needed. That was my identification, my title; Lea and Tom's daughter, Drews little sister, Jason’s wife, Max’s mom, etc. Of course that meant I didn't spend any time on myself. Why would I have to? Taking care of everyone takes care of me, right?
After that moment with my ex husband had passed, I remember sitting in my room one day and asking myself outloud, “Now what do I do?”. Then that question narrowed itself down to “What do I want to do?”. That's self care. I had to actually think about who I was and what I wanted. That's self care. The reason I did everything for everyone, and the main underlying reason why most of us push self care to the side, is because it didn't give me any time to think about who I was. “Who am I?” I don’t know about you but that was a fucking frightening question. Giving myself permission to sit with myself, even though it was a brief amount of time, at first, and crazy awkward, that was what started the process. That was the beginning of self care for me. In order to truly take care of myself I needed to know who I truly was.
Shortly after I heard Darren Hardy speak at a conference I attended and I had never been so enthralled and engaged with a speaker before. I instantly got his book “Compound Effect” and read the whole thing cover to cover. Personal development, that is self care.
We spend so much of our time doing things for other people, walking around with this martyr mindset, thinking that this is what’s going to validate us, this is what is going to fill whatever void we have. But yet, every night, we go to bed drained, incomplete, and wondering why no one does the same of us that we are doing for them. Thats because its not their job! It's yours! It's not called group care, it's called self care! But in order to truly take care of you, you have to know what that means because I will tell you this, it is WAY more than a manicure. Self care is getting back to who you are. Self care is saying no to the good, so you can say yes to the best. I know it seems way easier to just keep taking care of everyone else because getting back to your true self seems overwhelming and time consuming but that is why most of us never partake in true, deep, self care. Stop over thinking it! It's the little things you do, for yourself every day, that make the biggest difference.
Take a moment, grab a pen, a piece a paper and write this question, “What do I want?” and write down every single thing that comes to your head. Congratulations, you just did a true act of self care. Self care is getting back to who you were all along.
The Weekly Parady Podcast