Looking after YOU matters
I used to think looking after myself was selfish, vain and conceited. Until I nearly died. That was a huge wake up call to get my shit together and stop putting everyone else first. You see up until I had been a chronic people pleaser doing all I could to ensure people would like me. My ultimate fear of rejection was attached to a core belief that I wasn't good enough and therefore not worthy of self care.
So I became the Queen of Self Neglect. Ignoring health warnings I pushed myself too hard too far too often for decades. Other tell tale warning signs were there but also ignored. The warning bells of a boss telling me that my 100% effort was probably equivalent to others 300% didn't stop me in my tracks. Nor did my husband's constant "slow down/lighten up" warnings. It's hard when you're on the treadmill of people pleasing to suddenly stop it because we don't (a) know how to (b) have a clue what life would look like/feel like to stop and (c) have a clue who we even are.
Facing death stopped me in my tracks like nothing else could have. Let me tell you coming back from serious illness on top of chronic fatigue and burnout is NOT something I ever wish to repeat. Stuck in self neglect, dancing with doubt and continually beating myself up, enforced bedrest was what allowed me to learn about self care. And so began a whole new era!
Want to know what the hardest part of attending to self care was? Realising that it had to start in my head before it could filter into my feelings and behaviours.
The only way I could unlock the secret sauce to self care was by giving myself permission to do so in the first place.
Because up until that point loads of people had told me that I should slow down and take care of me. But I hadn't given myself permission to do so. What I also hadn't figured out was how to value myself enough in the first place.
Acknowledging that looking after me was the greatest act of selflessness wasn't easy. But over time and with lots of help, I got to the other side of self neglect. And I want you to know that you can too. By starting with permission. This is crucial to you being able to take better care of you.
If you do nothing else other than give yourself permission to get better at self care you will make progress just by taking that one profound step. And commit to it for at least 30 days so you can create new neural pathways in your brain which in turn will create new beliefs. New beliefs create new behaviours and before you know it you've got new norms happening.
Please make sure you do all you can to look after you. You deserve to be a first rate version of YOU not a second rate version of someone else. If you need some help along the way be sure to reach out. Don't suffer in silence or be a martyr about this. The road to recovery is waiting for you. Take action today - even if it's one small thing you can do today to take better care of you, do it! You deserve it.