I have a bone to pick with everybody, including myself.
This is not one of those soft, coddling, "you deserve a break" articles. There is a place and time for those, and this isn't it.
A quick Google search of "self-care" produces results that all say the same thing. Messages of "treat yo'self" and "find some chill". Don't get me wrong, those things are necessary and should be incorporated into your regular schedule in order to keep your cup filled and stave off the ever present threat of burnout. You absolutely need to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually, but clocking out is not the only way to take care of yourself. Sometimes you need to clock back in.
My big-sis-in-my-head, Myleik Teele (Founder of CurlBox) said this about self-care:
Manicures, massages, facials, etc. are all short-sighted activities for short-term satisfaction. Yes, your nails will be cute and your face will be beat but what good are those things if your finances are trash, your house is a mess, and you haven't made any moves towards your goals?
Grown ass self-care makes sure that you are actually "adulting" in a way that will be good for you in the long run. That means doing things you may not feel like doing. That means getting out of your comfort zone. That means acknowledging that you're a lazy bitch and forcing yourself to do something to help you get that thing you swear you want (I know I'm not the only one). That means betting on yourself, investing in yourself, and making moves that will help you live the life you say you want to live.
- Put the bubble bath and body scrub down. Pick up a pen and a notebook. Get clear about what NEEDS to happen in your life FOR YOU. What do you want? What do you need? What do you keep talking about but never making moves on?
- Write down the first steps you need to take to get that goal done. Then write down the next step. Keep going until you have a handful of small action items that build up to whatever greater thing you are working towards. Give due dates to these action steps and commit to them.
- THEN. GET. STARTED. Keep the commitment to yourself, no matter what. Make it your obligation to do what you need to do for you. Say no to the things that aren't helping you get to your goal if you know you have shit to do. FORCE YOURSELF to get up, to stay up, to take care of your business. Change your schedule if you need to. Maximize your time. Work for yourself just as much as you work for other people.
No need to drive yourself insane, that's not good for anybody. But you know what else isn't good for anybody? You doing nothing. You complaining about what you don't have when you haven't tried everything you can to get it. You chilling when you need to be working. Like Myleik said, it's not always going to be fun. It's going to feel like sacrifice. It's going to feel like discipline.
Expect to be uncomfortable. Expect to be tired, frustrated, and unsure. Expect lessons. Expect success. Expect miracles.
Figure out how you need to boss up and lean into it. Watch your life change. Then treat yourself for your hard work.
Get to it.
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