So you want to learn self care? You want to know how to get some of the self love goodness that’s going all around. I mean, you can’t remember the last time you were number one on your priority list. So self care seems like a great way to finally prioritize yourself and your wellbeing.
Alright, great! You read a few blog posts here and there. Maybe you join a Self Care Challenge. And heck, maybe you even get to actually try a few activities! Woohoo! Finally! Right?
But, you run into a slight problem. You sit down, indulge in a bath bomb, try to meditate, or just finally spend some time alone, but you don’t feel any different. You feel blah, drab, and frankly a little confused. This is supposed to be “me” time, but why does spending time with me feel so damn awkward? How can you be in a self care slump when you’ve barely begun a routine?
Be totally honest with me, do self care activities make you feel incredibly awkward? Do they make you uncomfortable? Does engaging in activities purely for your own benefit feel like it’s just plain unnatural?
If you feel like you’re raising your hand for a “yes, yes, yes,” I TOTALLY get it! Learning self care is HARD, especially at the beginning. This isn’t just in your head.
But, you want to know the best part? It doesn’t have to be that way forever. It doesn’t even have to be that way until the next self care activity. However, in order to implement change, we first need to understand where this guilt is coming from and why YOU feel so awkward doing what you gotta do.
The Crux of the Problem: The Culprit of Your Self Care Slump
Before I get into the juicy details about self care, I want to backtrack just a bit. After years of listening to my friends and other women in my life constantly undervalue themselves, feeling like giving to others and taking care of myself were mutually exclusive, and getting tired of constantly being there for others when I refused to prioritize myself, the true mission of Be Simply It was born.
I want every woman to know her worth, feel valuable, and believe that she is truly enough just the way she is. I want you to finally, genuinely, and deeply believe that you are worthy of love and belonging. More importantly, I want you to find that within yourself.
Sounds like a freaking gold mine of self discovery, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to utterly and truly love themselves. But even more than “just” promoting and celebrating self love, I realized there was a specific type of woman I wanted to talk to. And that, my friend, is you…the natural giver.
What do I mean by this? The natural giver is a person who finds it much easier to give to others than to give to themselves. You find it your first nature to make sure the people around you are well taken care of and happy. Yet, taking care of yourself is completely foreign. Do you find yourself always saying “I take so much care of others, but never take care of myself.”? You might just be a natural giver!
I’ve totally been there with you! I used to think that giving to myself and giving to others were mutually exclusive. I thought that if I gave to myself, I took away from the people I loved. It seemed like sacrificing my own wellbeing was the easier, and frankly, more responsible thing to do. Have you ever felt that way?
With the uprising of the self care/self love movement, I quickly learned that self love and self care aren’t selfish. In fact, they’re absolutely necessary for us to be our best selves and give even more to others!
So, where am I going with all of this? Well, the fundamental basis of “The Natural Giver’s” mentality IS the reason that self care is awkward and uncomfortable for us. It’s the culprit of your self care slump.
Giving to yourself isn’t selfish! Neglecting yourself is.
The Truth: Changing Our Nature Is HARD
You know, it’s totally ok to feel awkward and comfortable at first. Really. Don’t feel badly at all! It’s a natural feeling and I promise it’ll get better with time and practice.
(Sometimes, we just need to hear that we are totally normal from someone else. So, in case you didn’t hear it the first time, you’re totally normal and totally cool.)
In fact, it’s completely acceptable to feel any way you do about the experience. Regardless of what everyone else is feeling and doing, YOU are the most important person when it comes to your self love/self care journey.
I mean, it’s practically expected for you to feel guilty and uncomfortable. This is where being a natural giver comes into play. Natural givers are the people who always focus on other people more than themselves, the women who constantly sacrifice their own well being for the sake of others. Sound like you? Hey, me too!
But as a natural giver, our brains are hardwired to focus on other people. As a result, focusing on ourselves goes against our very nature. Hence, why it feels so unnatural! Makes sense, right?
It’s like driving an automatic for so long, then suddenly getting stuck in a manual…and you have no idea what to do. But, once you learn how to and gain more experience, not only are you totally comfortable with it, but you also have a whole new world of precision and control that you didn’t have before. (Sorry if I’m dating myself as a youngin’ with this car reference).
The point being, don’t pressure yourself to feel a certain way and know that it’s totally normal to feel guilty! You’re going against your natural instinct as a giver. Of course it’ll feel a bit weird at first! But regardless, you can overcome the self care slump and totally rock your self care routine.
So, now you know the what and the why, but it’s time to get to the how! How do we get over this (as I like to call it) beginner’s guilt?
The Power of Community
First and foremost, you’re not alone. Like I said, it’s practically expected for you to feel this way. And I guarantee there are many others who feel guilty and weird about self care just like you!
But, you know the great thing about that? You can use this fact to your advantage! How?
You can use this joint experience to build and create community. You can find support and encouragement from others who feel the same way.
The best part about being a natural giver is that you can offer the love to someone else that you desperately need. Sometimes it’s easier to tell someone else words of encouragement than to say them to yourself (ok, most of the time!).
Ok, it’s solution time. How do we make this actually happen? Join a community of other natural givers and you won’t be alone on this journey. You can even join my (free!) Facebook Group: The Be Simply It Self Lovelies to meet and connect with other encouraging and supportive women. We would love to have you!
How do you maximize this type of interaction to overcoming your self care slump? One technique to reduce guilt is the power of self talk, just modified for the natural giver. For every comment you type to someone else telling her that she deserves to take time for herself and love who she is, I want you to say those exact words to yourself, too. Use that natural talent of loving and giving to others and mirror it to give to yourself, too!
The Power of Self Compassion
Secondly, remember to be gracious and patient with yourself. Like I said, learning self care is HARD. And beginner’s guilt is all too common. However, we can overcome it. We just have to remember to be kind to ourselves.
Learning self care is a great opportunity to practice self compassion. So…your weekly meditation wasn’t as great as you hoped. Or you thought about your to-do list the entire time you treated yourself to a bath bomb. You just wish you had “done it better.”
Hey! It happens! No judgement from me. And there shouldn’t be any from you either! The most important part is that you’re taking steps to invest in yourself. Trust the learning process. With more practice, time, and experience, you WILL and CAN become a self care master. But only if you’re kind enough to let yourself. 🙂
If you want to learn self care, but have absolutely no idea where to start, join my 21 Day Self Care Challenge! This challenge is perfect for absolute (confused and frazzled) beginners. Over the course of 3 weeks, I give you a sample of self care activities to try everyday. Keep what you love, toss what you don’t, and create your perfect self care routine. Better yet, you’ll get additional self care motivation, just like this blog post right to your inbox!
Can’t wait to see you there, gorgeous!