When “self-care”isn’t enough.
How would you define self-care?
Is it just personal care routines like bathing and brushing your teeth? Probably not. Maybe it’s time to do your favorite hobby like crafting or golf (that was my husband’s suggestion 😊.)
Sometimes self-care can mean visiting a salon or spa for a day of pampering. But typically, when we think of self-care, we think of “something nice” for ourselves. Not “something necessary.” Or, if you’re like me, you may even understand that self-care IS necessary (spoiler alert, it is), but you don’t seem to have the time to do the craft or the spa or the yoga class, or you relish in the few times a month or year that you get to “treat yo’ self.”
What self-care is and is not is increasingly unclear. Part of that is due to its personal nature. What you do to care for yourself may differ from what I do. But it’s more than that. Self-care is not just a series of habits; it’s a whole industry. I am not necessarily saying that this is a bad thing. The pandemic made us more aware of our health and wellness and the lack thereof, and pursuing ways to dive deeper into caring for oneself is admirable.
But something is missing. Self-care activities, habits, and hobbies. The workouts, the aromatherapy, the adult coloring books. They only scratch the surface. I have had a consistent workout routine, have oil diffusers, spend time in prayer and meditation, do yoga, journal, and all the things. And I still found myself exhausted, burned out, stressed out, depleted, and constantly searching for the next thing to help me relax and recharge. But I never found the magic bullet, the right combination, something that really made me feel like “myself.” Or, if I did have a moment of “ahhhhh,” it didn’t last.
Why wasn’t self-care enough for me?
Well, first, and maybe you can relate, much of my time is spent caring for or working for others. My mom, my children, my church, and my job all require, and rightly so, some part of my time daily. So even when I could get some of that “me” time in, I was still thinking about allll the other things on my plate at any given time. Plus, with my mother’s condition, I never know when the phone will ring, when the doctor will call, or she will need me for any number of reasons. The anticipation of what might come often keeps me from truly being in the moment for the self-care I am “practicing.”
Over the last several months, I’ve slowly discovered that doing “self-care” things isn’t enough. Instead, I’m learning to practice caring for myself. I am becoming a self-caregiver.
If you’re tired of looking for the next ‘self-care thing’ only to find out it doesn’t seem to be enough, you can be a self-caregiver too.
It’s easy to start.
Step 1: Just say, “I am worthy of the loving and compassionate care I give others, and I will give myself that care.”
Step 2: Start believing it!
Want some guidance and inspiration on your journey to becoming a self-caregiver? Sign up to get actionable self-care (baby) steps straight to your inbox! Click here to sign up for The Self-Caregiver Newsletter
And keep checking the blog, which covers topics such as practicing mindfulness, being intentional with your own care, setting goals and boundaries, and more. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram where I share about my own life as a mom, and caregiver, and how I am working on my own healing journey and learning how to love myself and share love and care with others!