What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when it comes to caring for yourself? Time out, healthy lifestyle or luxurious spa treatments? Or does this all freak you out, because you have so much to do and you couldn’t possibly invest in your well-being… that is just way too selfish?
And if you do these things for yourself, do you do them from a place of self-love or guilt? I find so frequently, people spend more than enough time on themselves, but spend that time guilty they’re not being more productive or distracted with what they HAVE to do next, that the time invested in self-care is lost and is now another draining and stressful addition to the day. Here are five common ways we sabotage our self-care moments.
- We somehow feel the need to sacrifice ourselves for other people.
As a parent, I’ve found there is a tendency to give most of ourselves to our family because we parents fear that we are not doing enough for our kids. But of course, this easily applies to many other people as well. Whether it is because we were to taught to not be selfish or we need to bleed ourselves dry for the people we work for, we see our self as something to be carved up and served.
The problem with this is that it only leads to a massive burnout. And when you’re burnt out from working overtime or cleaning up after your kids, you stop functioning altogether. What happens then? Isn’t it better to take at least take a little breather for yourself?
- We feel the need to punish ourselves for mistakes.
Sometimes when we make a mistake, we find it natural to make amends by beating ourselves up. We stop sleeping and meditating because there’s some overdue work that needs to be done or we need to rectify a problem created from our error. Everyone is chugging pills and tablets because they can’t afford to take any more sick days. You deny yourself a peaceful stroll because you feel that you’ve been wasting time.
But just like burnout, this tendency toward self-punishment makes things worse! It’s like cutting off your arm just because your hand slipped. Your body is a sacred thing and while you are prone to mistakes, it is important to let go and carry on with love for yourself.
- We listen to our impulses rather than what our body is saying.
Instead of spending some quality tech-free time, we spend over 10 hours a day staring at our phones and devices. Instead of exercising, we prefer to sit down and stuff ourselves with anything in our reach without thinking of what it does to our bodies.
The result is as bad as you would expect: you get sick more often; your body lacks proper nutrition; your blood pressure increases and energy drops.
We have to know the difference between listening to an impulse and listening to the whole of our body.
- Fear of not being good enough
There will always be times when we wonder if we’re not playing full-out. We exercise but we don’t think we’re doing it enough. We eat the right food but think that we should try eating less or more frequently… the I can do better attitude.
When we come from a place of fear; fear of not being fit enough, smart enough, pretty enough the effort is exhausting and unfulfilling. What we put into actions that would usually be classed as self-care ends up being self sabotaging and gives us the opposite sensation to care.
- We believe we’re too far gone anyway.
Lastly, perhaps a really self-destructive line of thought is the idea that you’re too fat, too weak or too addicted to really make a difference.
The truth is you can! If you let your mind focus on being hopeless then that is what you’ll get. But if you simply change your thoughts, little by little, you can take the small steps towards making things better.
The truth is all these things and all these attitudes are because of one thing: You don’t really value your truest self. Yet once we do, that is where the real magic of changing your life begins. Don’t let a lack of self-worth ever stop you from caring for yourself when you know you deserve it