Practicing Self-Care During a Tough Time
Given everything that’s going on in the world around us, I know a lot of you have heavy hearts and a lot on your minds. Although it may feel counterintuitive, even more so than normal, we should be thinking about how we can care for ourselves.
Whether it’s with the world news or with something challenging you’re dealing with personally, you can use this mindset work to navigate self-care during a difficult time.
I think self-care (a.k.a. how we take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally) is one of the most important skills we can develop. It is the root of true health!
Practicing self-care doesn’t mean that everything goes perfectly, that we are always super happy, or that we feel our absolute best. It means that we develop a deep appreciation for loving ourselves and nurturing ourselves from moment to moment, whether the moments are full of pain, joy, or something in between.
After going through a miscarriage this year that was extremely hard on me mentally, emotionally, and physically, making the decision to shut down my private practice, and seeing new horrifying things on the news every day, I want to share with you all the ways that I have been practicing self-care during these tough times.
* Be honest - this can be hard. Often we want to pretend like the hard uncomfortable feelings aren’t there but that just makes it harder for us to process the experience. Instead, how can you be honest with yourself and the people you trust most? This doesn’t mean you have to share your life’s struggles with every stranger on the street, but it does require you to be real about what is coming up for you. Give your feelings a name & allow yourself permission to feel whatever it might be (even if they aren’t the “prettiest” feelings). Confide in someone or a few people whom you trust about what you’re going through. It’s important that we feel safe to experience our emotions; it's a crucial part of taking emotional care of ourselves.
* Set boundaries - as a social person, whenever I’m going through a challenging time, I need to set more boundaries for myself. I need to turn off my phone a little earlier, have more downtime for myself, and lessen my use of social media. New boundaries are often necessary to make more restful peaceful times happen! If you are struggling with what’s going on in the world around you, know that it is OK to create new and/or different boundaries than you had in the past. What do you want those boundaries to look like this week? This month? It doesn’t mean you will always have to have those boundaries — after all, the tough times don’t last forever! We are constantly changing, and growing. Creating new boundaries allows us to protect our hearts, health, and emotions during each new phase.
* Reprioritize - whenever something feels tough, I know I have to reprioritize by getting clear on what’s important to me in those moments and putting the energy and attention I have on those things, allowing the rest to fall away. Right now, it’s focusing on my kids, my private clients, and getting enough rest. Maybe I’m not creating as much new content as I used to, launching a new group program, or socializing like crazy and that’s okay. By re-prioritizing (again, just for right now) I have the bandwidth to do the things that are most important to me, and I'm able to trust that in the future I will be able to re-invest in the other things that I need to release for right now. When things are more challenging, know that it is OKAY if your life needs to look a little different than it does on the easy days. We are allowed to have seasons where we strive and we are allowed to have seasons where we survive. Both are important to our character growth and both teach us invaluable lessons when we take the time to connect back to ourselves through self-care. You are not and do not have to be doing the most all the time. What can you reprioritize that’s in alignment with your values?
* Release expectations, guilt, and shame - if something in your life isn’t going the way you imagined it or planned it, please know that it is OKAY! If you woke up and didn’t feel the way you wanted to, that’s OKAY. We can’t control everything in our lives and the sooner we release unrealistic expectations that we place on ourselves & others, the less guilt and shame we will experience when our experience doesn’t necessarily meet those expectations. There is so much freedom in this release. Where can you release unrealistic expectations and guilt?
* Do something that makes you feel better - if the news is making you feel off and low then turn it off! If you’re going through a hormonal imbalance that’s leaving you with low energy or navigating uncomfortable emotions, do something every day to make yourself feel a little better. Take a long bath, light a candle, journal in bed, and watch an episode of your favorite show. Focus on the little details that make you feel cared for. Make sure to be kind to yourself with your words, thoughts, and actions. What’s one small thing that would make YOU feel better today?
All I want is for you to embrace this perfectly imperfect life. You get to choose how you take care of yourself. Even on those days it feels tough.
Sending you so much love. If you’re ready to uncover what’s going on in your body, learn the keys to hormonal balance, and implement effective strategies and tools to allow you to feel more at home in your body, click here to learn more about our hormones course.