I’m challenging my free Facebook group – Screw you, I’m choosing me – a lot lately. There’s a self-love challenge many are struggling with and this week we’re talking about self-care.
Because when we’re focussed in on how painful a relationship is, we can get really caught up in that pain, hurt and anger that we completely forget ourselves.
So why is self-care important? Why is it important to you? What does it mean to you?
Self-care – when applied properly – can change your entire life! I truly mean that and I’m speaking from experience. When I was going through everything – I hated myself. HATED myself!
I’d look in the mirror in the morning and could only think negative, mean thoughts. I’d go about my day: bitter and jealous of others. I was depressed and on anti-depressants (just to add confirmation that I was “depressed”) and to top it all off – I was told I’d be on medication for the rest of my life. Could you imagine living miserably your entire life? Hating every single day? Every 24 hours feeling like a painful 72 hours…
It was horrible – and that’s what I was looking at. Even revisiting that space to talk about it makes me want to shoot myself! There’s no hope there. There’s no energy. There’s no light. It’s dark, lonely, cruel.
That’s no way to live!
Thankfully I was able to realise that myself. I started changing everything (which I mentioned in an earlier post – including very, very small things in my life – from moving house to my toothpaste, to my hair colour and beyond).
If it felt good – hell yes, more of that stuff please… and I started to realise the only person keeping me stuck, keeping me miserable, keeping me lonely and bitter and angry and hurt and sad and every-other-icky-emotion – wasn’t anyone who was in my past…
It wasn’t the bullying in school, the domestic violence, or the disagreement with my parents when I was 3. Ha! You know what I’m getting at!
Nor was it any of the toxic relationships I’d been in!
And it all boiled down to one thing. There was only one person left to blame for where I was:
It was me – I was toxic to myself!
I was the one holding onto the toxic gunk those encounters had generated. I was the one that kept going over excruciating details which only aggravated the pain. I let those dickheads into my life. I made bad choices. In fact: I was responsible for where I was at.
Check out my before and after picture.
To the untrained eye – it’s a superficial transformation. Lost some weight, changed my hair colour, got a tan… But for me, this picture is the before and after of a full soul transformation. Look at my eyes. On the left – the light is well and truly off. Dead. Soulless. I have so much make up on because I don’t want people to see me. Even my dog looks like he’s trying to get away from me! On the right – the light is turned on and up. Vibrant. Charged. Energised. Less make up, more open. More natural. Glow. Shine.
If you needed to stop and ask for directions which is more approachable? I’d choose the lady on the right – the new recharged me – and my experience proved that correct!
So when you’re among it – you may not even be aware – but while you’re feeling lonely and like you’re going to die from the inside out, remember: you could well be pushing people away right now.
So how did I do it?
I let it go!
No like “Ok I’m done here – I’m better now, I am the original Pollyanna!” Forget that – don’t aim for it: it doesn’t happen!
It took time – months to years – and a bucketload of patience. It is STILL an ongoing conscious process to remove and keep me from a painful space. (But it’s a lot easier now that I’ve cleared the crap out!)
How did I do it? How did I get myself out of that shitty hole?
No – it doesn’t work overnight and it’s not meant to. You’re not going to be able to put a face mask on and go “I feel great!” – and rainbows appear. Don’t even set that thought up in your head.
Instead – be real. Small steps, little progress. If you fall, you don’t have far to fall to your last step. Whereas big steps, big progress – fall and you’re going to fall off a cliff.
Self care is accumulative – and as I mentioned, I still do it consciously today.
We all have off days. It’s ok! Life is like that.
If someone we love is hurt, if someone passes, if someone hurts us – self-care or not: we’re going to feel it. But – face those emotions with courage; own that space inside yourself bravely. Stop and go “Ok, I feel crummy right now – I get it…” Listen to yourself as though your listening to your best, most treasured friend, and the bigger changes come.
They do – trust me.
So here’s some of my big self-care tips that lead to big breakthroughs:
– Hang out with positive supportive friends who are emotionally available, and limit time with anyone who brings you down
– Watch your energy: if it makes you feel good (and it’s healthy!!) then try a little more and find ways to get more of that good feeling. If it drains you – none of that!
– Be good to yourself. Just generally, be good to yourself – mind, body and spirit. If you’re being hard on yourself, figure out EXACTLY what you’re trying to say – ask yourself: “What’s the problem here?” – and take steps to sort it out. Don’t put up with pain, hurt or anger.
And the big changes I’ve had??
– My commitment to things: I’m more consistent with everything all throughout my life – relationships, health, my career focus
– I feel people loving me now instead of hearing them criticise me all the time. They’re just here to help – not hurt
– Friends — I have lost a lot in my time; but the friends I have now are priceless
– Confidence and energy: both high. (People don’t believe me when I tell them I used to sleep (hibernate) for days at a time and crunch down on anti-depressants each day) I have energy for everything I want to do and more. I fit a lot into my 24 hours now!
– Health: I used to get sick A LOT. All the pain I experienced – I felt every single, excruciating thing. I haven’t been sick for a very long time and my last cold (two years ago) was a stand-alone thing. It wasn’t accumulated that moved into something else.
Self-care is so much deeper than your (next coaching buzzword *cringe* – ready for it?) “self-love”.
You DO NOT have to “love yourself” in order to care about yourself! That’s NOT true! Self-care isn’t even a sign of self-love – so if you’re hating yourself right now – that’s ok – but you still gotta care about yourself coz you’re attached! You’re not going anywhere! Know what I’m saying?
So – right now – stuff the love!
Let’s focus on caring for ourselves and building something worth loving – then the love will come.
Self-care is worth your patience. And it’s not just about having a haircut to try to make yourself feel good. Short term, maybe – but long term these small things will add up in your subconscious and you will start to change in the best, most positive way. And then you won’t be able to help but to love yourself – even for those times you hated yourself!
Like this post? It’s free – join the group: Screw you – I’m choosing me!