In a recent conversation with a friend, I talked about time and how hard it is to prioritize health next to a job, studies, friends, a relationship and family. How come we end up prioritizing anything but our health, dear one?
I remember as a kid I would view adults that couldn't properly take care of themselves as failures. For full transparency – I can only think of examples involving my father and his girlfriend at that time. He would go to his parents every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner as a grown man. While she would eat Haribos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had to grow up myself to understand that what I witnessed wasn't failure, it was human.
Truth is I suck at taking care of myself too. When I'm all by myself I know I have a good day if I start with a healthy breakfast, eat a bread with cheese for lunch and pasta for dinner. But I still have these days in-between when I forget to eat at all. For a long time I thought I was lacking time or discipline.
My relationship with discipline is limited. It's also 99 percent negative. know I can function, but I learned to function to please others. So how would I be able to develop intrinsic discipline? I had read and listened to so many saying that discipline is a game changer, you have to do the stuff that's good for you daily, bla bla bla. You need discipline to be successful. Ouch. Only the word “discipline” itself gives me stomach cramps and leaves me in fear, of not being good enough nor able to make it one day.
Again and again I met myself behaving like a little stubborn kid. I didn't want to take the time out of my day for all the self-care activities.
I wanted to be healthy, but not make an effort to start cooking for myself.
I wanted to get rid of my migraine, but not take a closer look at the root of the problem.
I wanted to life but not drink any water.
I literally always managed to do the opposite. Maybe because a part of my inner child didn't want to function.
Life tricks us into thinking that we need that hard discipline. That we need that extra time and money. When all we need is to keep a promise with ourselves.
I was longing for a mothering and nurturing love and voice navigating us through life. Encouraging me to do the things I keep avoiding and once and for all eliminating the things that drain my energy in the first place.
When I was still in my full-time job I would have a schedule that benefited anyone but me. I was disciplined thriving in all areas of work, just not in my personal ones. I was working long hours, I would try to squeeze in anything I could in my lunch break or after work, I'd skip food and sleep whenever needed. Weekends were just there to sleep it off. I got so sick of appointments, I started seeing my friends and family less. Until that point when my body said “STOP, is this the life you want to live?".
No matter the job – we're all so busy, so we make appointments to keep up with our beauty, health etc. on the go. While these appointments make us believe to relieve us from our busy schedules they only add up to them. I used to book the appointments, order the food… and basically paid others to make me happy and healthy. Just to come back to do it myself. (Maybe a little bit forced by the pandemic🙃)
We try to fix ourselves and our lives so badly, when a commitment in the change of our daily lifestyle would be solving so much of our homemade mess.
Why do we keep thinking that a successful life is busy, is stressful, is hard, includes people-pleasing? How can we shift self-care into the definition of taking care of ourselves in the daily actions rather than viewing it as something additional, something fancy, something you need to earn?
Don't get me wrong, I love getting a pedicure, a massage, a reiki session, acupuncture or see an osteopath for example – whoever is helping us restore our body and mind these days. But can you imagine how much more you'd be going to benefit from these appointments when you'd start chipping in? These appointments are not a break from our responsibilities, but an essential add-on in our wellbeing journeys. It's not an either nor situation. I can stand in my kitchen and prepare food, I can be my own personal trainer and skin therapist while accepting help. In fact we should.
One of the reasons I started do you is that I wanted my body to hear self-love messages coming from within 24/7 and to let the rewiring happen along my day. Having fun, doing and enjoying activities I like every day instead of carving extra time out in my daily schedule. Mostly I wanted to relearn to do things my way. And that was only possible by committing to myself.
Whatever it is you're tackling these days, here's a list of things you can start doing for yourself right now. Let's get these basics right. It's time to be our own hype persons…