Before we get into what you can do for self-care, and all the little things that make life better if you actually do them (ahem), I want to take one step back with you.
Because before you can actually really work on self-care, you have to give yourself permission to do so.
If you don’t, you’ll go through the motions and still feel bad about it. You’ll need lots more willpower to keep exercising, cooking meals or getting enough sleep. It will be hard – and it doesn’t have to be if you take the time for this small but fundamental step.
I’m quite serious about this, and I often do this with clients.
You see, modern culture has a tendency to value money above everything else. We also measure success in money earned. And in order to earn that money, we have to spend time creating our products – our books, pieces of art, and possibly working in a day job on top of that. A lot of time.
And any time we do not spend being productive, working on something that will bring us money, can be seen as wasted time.
Now, our rational mind tells us that it should be okay to take some time out for eating, sleeping, showering, running errands, playing games and being with our family. But deep inside, we know this isn’t making money. In fact, it’s keeping us from making money. So we might feel guilty for taking the time. We might feel that we aren’t doing our best.
This is just a thought pattern, though. Something we learned as kids. Something we figured out from watching our parents, watching movies and being in school. There may have been books pushing this kind of thinking, as well. It simply is all around us. So of course, we picked it up. Don’t blame yourself for it.
The way out of this thought-trap is to give yourself permission for self-care. Alternatively, let me do it for you:
I now give you permission to take good care of yourself.
Watch your thoughts when you take a nice, long bath, go for a walk or sit down at the dinner table to eat the meal you cooked.
Are you thinking about your work? The deadline? Your book? And does it feel like you’re wasting time?
Shift those thoughts.
By investing time in yourself, by resting your mind and body, by giving yourself good food – you are investing in your health and thus in your productivity. (This is not where we want to go in the long run, but it’s a crutch to keep you from feeling bad this very moment.)
We humans need recovery time, especially if we’re creative types.
By not working all the time, you’re helping yourself be more productive in the time that you do work. Does that make sense?
Great. You’re on your way to a less stressful life.
And now we’ll tap on giving yourself permission for great self-care – and taking the time to do it.
Even though I feel such pressure to keep working all the time, I’m okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission for good self-care.
Even though it’s so hard to stop thinking about making money with my books, art and writing, I’m okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to take care of that creative, gentle part of myself, with good self-care.
Even though I feel driven to create every free minute of my life, and everything else feels like a waste, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to know I have permission to take good care of myself, no matter what.
How do you feel about taking time for self-care?
Does it matter if you have permission to take care of yourself?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.
Image Source: F. Moebius
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