Is the Thought of "Self-Care" Stressing You Out?
If you're keeping up with the wellness community, you have probably heard of the term self-care more times than you can count. You read about it in all of the top wellness magazines. Don't forget to meditate 20 minutes a day, take frequent salt baths, set monthly intentions, use essential oils.... the list goes on and on. It's hard to keep up with all of the things you should be doing in order to live your "best life," you know?
When self-care goes too far
I was talking to a good friend recentely about the overwhelming pressure she feels to keep up with her self-care list. When you're already feeling overworked and stressed, forcing yourself to fit in your long list of self-care items may feel like more work than it's worth. On the flip-side, you know that these activities will actually make you feel better in the long run. You're stuck between feeling worn down and tired, all while beating yourself up on the wellness front, too!
Self-care has great intentions, but at times it can add way more pressure than it's worth. Take it from a wellness inspired perfectionist -- it is easy to believe that you just aren't doing enough. It's time we let ourselves off the hook. Taking care of your stress and your health doesn't have to look picture perfect. I know the world of instagram tells us otherwise (and I'm at fault of this too!), but remember these snapshots are merely a glimpse of the big picture.
So what's a girl to do?
When you force yourself into self-care routines that are not in alignment with what your body needs, it defeats the whole purpose! So the next time you're feeling stressed out and off balance and you're not sure where to turn... try following these simple steps:
1. Take a moment to listen
Our self-care routine can often go on autopilot. Maybe you really don't feel like waking up at 5:45am for that yoga class this morning, and that's ok. Tune-in with yourself. Does your body need more rest? Does it need something more high-impact? Perhaps you just need a flippin' break. Remember that forgoing your normal care routine doesn't mean your life with start crumbling to pieces! You may actually be doing yourself a favor.
2. be willing to change your perspective
Many of us have this perception of self-care as frequent massage trips and daily journaling/meditation excerises...and while all of these activates are great, sometimes they are just NOT going to happen. Be willing to change your perspective! Drinking a glass of wine and eating 3 spoonfuls of peanut butter can be self-care too. Binging on Netflix documentaries and getting in a good cry? Self-care! Just because you aren't meditating in a field of flowers, and journaling about the moon, doesn't mean your health is going to take turn for the worst.
3. detox your mind
Take a week to detox from all of the external advice out there. Delete your instagram app and resit buying that latest wellness magazine. It get's overwhelming! The pressure we feel to do ALL OF THE THINGS can be too much. It's hard to listen to what your intuition is asking of you when you have every wellness expert, doctor, and instagram blogger blasting you with information. A mind-detox can be a powerful thing. I actually write more about this, here :)
4. One thing will do
You don't have to do it all, so what is ONE thing you can do to show yourself some love and grace? Remember, it doesn't have to be picture perfect. If you don't have time for a 20-minute meditation, try deep breathing for 3 minutes instead. Only have time to light a quick candle and turn on some soothing music? Do it! Allow yourself to do nothing at all. Pick one thing -- it can be as little as 5 minutes, or as long as an hour, but make it just for you.
And for all you working mamas out there... I hear sitting in your silent car or closet for a few moments can offer you the peace you're looking for ;) Self-care comes in many forms! What most relaxes you?
Hope these tools help, loves! Take the pressure off. You're doing great!