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Treat Yourself Better

By July 30, 2020 No Comments

*Njenga Moses*

Is self-care difficult?

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Do you treat your car better than you care for yourself?

None of us is honest enough to say that self care is absolutely hard. Be it health check ups, haircuts, getting to bed on time, procuring a healthy meal or going to the gym, self-care can sometimes appear like a long “to do list” that make us feel relived but instead we perceive it as a burden.

We all know what we need to do to be healthy and take care of ourselves, and if we are motivated, chances are that our list of what we need to do to stay healthy grows, instead of shrinking. We know how and when we should do these things and even why they are important to us, but some days, you just don’t feel like doing what you are needed to do.

So why is self-care so hard sometimes? Why should something that is supposed to make you feel good become so exhausting?

1. Self-care is not that important.

The insidious aspect and ignorance of saying that self-care is not that important. Saying self-care does not matter. When we absorb this mindset and then start repeating it to ourselves, this is an emotional injury. This is a sign of low self-worth, feeling that our own health, growth, and healing is of no importance.

Our bodies and souls are pretty resilient. We can neglect ourselves for a long time and keep pulling ourselves along or continue to treat ourselves like an entertainment center with a trashcan. We fail to recognize the impact caused. Every little choice and action have an impact. We don’t realize what we are losing when we neglect our own health, healing and growth. I think if a person could experience six seconds of what potential they have with good self-care. They could have endless motivation after that.

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2. We are told that Self-care is being selfish

 If you distort your concept of self-care to mean you disregard other people, your relationships, or the environment in the process that is selfish. But that is not self-care. Caring for yourself does not mean you are withdrawing from others. You deserve self-care. If your compassion doesn’t include yourself then it is incomplete.

Remember this; Self-care = self-responsibility. Not selfishness

3: We don’t know how.

There’s so much misguiding information out there about nutrition, fitness, relationships, finances, and mental health. If you follow it, you can have exactly the opposite results of what you were hoping for .This can be frustrating and discouraging and can make you give up on self-care.

It’s not a list of to dos. Self-care is an intention and a process of experimentation and learning, to discover what you, individually, need and want.  It is completely a process of honoring yourself, in attitude and intent. It is learning how to honor you in your choices, actions, and habits.

 I am going to find out how. I am going to find out what I really need and want. The statement is so self-affirming and thrilling.

 When you make mistakes in the process of which you will, just identify it and retrace yourself. You have learnt something about yourself, and your relationship with the world. That is what’s supposed to happen. That is how it works.

4: We confuse self-care with comfort.

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Self-care is about nurturing your own health, healing, and growth. For example: Self-care means having healthy, nourishing food for yourself, while respecting your body/ individual needs. Comfort means chocolate and wine (that is whatever your comfort food of choice is). Self-care is about physical activity and exercise, in accordance to your physical needs and goals. Comfort means binge-watching of TV instead. Self-care means, being truthful with yourself about your own sources of pain and malfunction so that you can work on them. Comfort means acting as if everything is okay, and numbing out.

Life is often stressful and painful. Sometimes comfort is what you need. Self-care at times means making a choice to give out some bit of short term discomfort for the sake of genuine happiness, joy, and pleasure. Focus on happiness, joy, and pleasure, knowing that it will come to you if you keep taking good care of yourself. And keep reminding yourself that everything matters. So, combining self-care and comfort can get you out of track.

5. Effort.

 Self-care demands commitment, be it getting to bed on time, planning, shopping for, and preparing healthy meals, or keeping up with an exercise routine. When you are tired, and perhaps you are in need of self-care, is exactly when exerting effort for anything can feel like a burden even if you know it will help you feel better on the other side. Acknowledging this, can help you be realistic and gentle with yourself so that you can look for solutions that is fit for your energy level.

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6. It is hard to make good decisions when we are tired.

Be tired enough and you will lose discipline and self control towards self-care. On the other hand you will rush to Angry Birds, the fourth episode of your favorite Netflix series, more dessert, or some other habit-forming activity and substance. Being tired affects your decision making skills, thus you are more vulnerable to distractions and impulsivity.

When it comes to rewarding activities that stimulate our brain, it is hard to exercise moderation especially when we are tired.

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