I’m here to admit that, YES…sometimes, I have to force self-care on myself. Even as coach in the self-care space… I still have keep myself in check.
When I was younger, I spent a lot of time in independent play. No, this isn’t going to be a sad story LOL. I’m just establishing the point that I have always had a preference (and need) for some alone time. Those who know me well know that I seem extroverted, but I’m right on the line. An extroverted introvert. An ambivert. Whatever you call it…I love people, but I recharge alone.
The trouble with this need for intentional alone time? Saying I need it is one thing. Taking it is another. I swear, I have great intentions. However, in real life, it too often takes a long-term eye twitch before I finally give in 🤦♀️. I will tell myself I’m doing so well on self-care until my body gives me enough signs that, well, I’m not. Also, there is a guilt factor that creeps in…guilt for taking time for myself.
Yes, that feeling of guilt that creeps into your spaces, I know you know it. I’ve had countless conversations with driven do-it-all women in which we speak of feeling guilty, for so many reasons. Guilt for taking time for yourself because you’re not getting other things done (that never-ending to-do list!), you’re not spending that time with the kids, you’re taking time off of work, guilt for…you name it. And I understand it because it’s been in my spaces, too. And still tries to occupy space, even after I’ve done “the work.”
I’ve done the work. And I keep doing the work. The work involves crawling out from underneath expectations, understanding that self-care doesn’t have to be earned, accepting that I am worth taking care of, and recognizing my value and signs of depletion. (Plus more…) My work lead me to recognizing that I have to self-care with intent.
One of the self-care routines I implemented as special-to-me is that of solo adventures. These are intentional small trips that I take alone to new places. Half-day or whole day, I find a destination for me. To spend time alone, to do something different, to shake up my routine, and to reconnect with myself.
Y’all, I hit a spell recently in which I felt I was going to lose it. I was on the edge of, I don’t know what, rage…crying…rage and crying? Either way, it was a sign (among others) that I waited TOO long. I decided that my long-term eye twitch and I needed a solo adventure. And we needed it, like, yesterday. With that, I took a day off from work to go play (Use your PTO! I’m not yelling at you, I’m yelling at myself. But, if you felt like I was yelling at you, you probably deserved it 😂.). I loosely planned my day, just the way I like it, just me and my adventure. I let go, had fun, felt peace, and IMPORTANTLY gave myself lasting impact as a result of this very intentional devoted time.
Please note, self-care does NOT have to take a whole day (it’s fun when it does though 😉.) The majority of my work has been in self-discovery and implementing small changes to my routine in the name of self-care. For me though, a few occasional hours of concentrated time is what I need as an empath, an executive in a helping profession, a coach, and a healer. I extend myself towards people as my purpose. And, if I don’t care for myself, I can’t effectively show up for my purpose, people, and priorities.
My room for improvement, being more consistent in my practice. Catching myself before I've gone too far, answering my calls of depletion and stepping up for myself.
How to you care for yourself? What do you do when you can feel that you’re on the edge? How do you give yourself permission to care about you as much as you care about others? And how can I help?