As you may know, if you’ve been following me on social media, the past few weeks were difficult (and oh-so-interesting at the same time). I was under the weather, to say the least, with an allergic reaction on my face, super low energy, poor mindset.
One day as I was working at the coffeeshop, a friend and colleague came by. We’re catching up as we haven’t seen each other in a while. She asks how the launch went. I tell her I’ve been pretty sick and throw myself another one of those pity parties I was making a business of only a few days ago. I tell her all about the allergy, and how I’m upper limiting (I know that for facts now). We hug, say goodbye, she leaves. I get on with my things. She comes back. And says to me: “you know you can’t help people with their own self-care if you can’t look after yourself, right?”
Hmm, yes, of course. I know that. Like, I KNOW that. Wait a minute. I KNOW THAT.
Well, you know what? I forgot.
I felt completely misaligned with my message and what’s important to me and what I’ve been trying to help people with. And I was like, who am I to help people? I can’t even help myself! My body was crying out for some self-care, some space, some time to heal.
This was a huuuuge realization and lesson learned (again). And I’m sharing this with you because self-care isn’t easy. In fact, self-care is fucking hard. And it’s different for everyone. In my case, for example, I overwork myself. This is what happened with the launch. I pushed myself, I pushed my body. I knew that at the time, but I kept going. It felt kind of good even. The pressure. The stakes. The ‘achievements’ and ‘productivity’. For a really long time for me in my corporate career, my self-worth was linked to how hard I worked, how much I was ‘recognized’ (whatever that means), and how much I earned. Can you imagine what starting my own business, and basically starting from zero felt after that? It really shook things up for me.
Self-care, and unlearning these habits, has been my main focus in the past two and a half years, and it started from zero. I had to teach myself to shower (nobody is seeing/smelling me anyway), to eat (easy to forget when you are playing Sims for weeks at a time), to say no (this is a big one for me!), to care for my mental health and stop telling myself how much I sucked. I had to stop questioning my life choices every day and that took some time.
We all have different self-care challenges, and today I feel like I’ve come a really, really long way. So when I push myself too far again, like I did for the launch, and have to learn that lesson all over again, it’s a bit of a slap in the face. An epic, necessary, loving slap though.
So I cancelled all my plans, professional commitments, which drove me to be even sicker because I really, really can’t let people down. I put myself first. I put my body first. I didn’t have a choice. I just had to. I mean, my face was the size of a freaking balloon. I was knackered, sleeping all day.
As I write this I’m still ill (it’s been bloody weeks) and picking myself up. I’m looking at it with a whole new perspective. There’s gotta be a better way, right? I can’t keep doing this and keep learning that lesson again and again. I won’t.
Self-care isn’t easy, and it’s an ongoing process, a beautiful journey to the depth of us. The thing about self-care is that it’s actually common sense, yet at the same time, it’s so fucking hard. Nobody has mastered the art of self-care 100% of the time. It’s not possible. We have the tools we put in place for stability and can return to when needed, as we all fall off the wagon from time to time.
What have you been struggling with lately?
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Ps. And remember: self-care leads to self-love, which ultimately leads to a better world.