I have a confession to make – I love the fluff. I love reading books about far-off lands in an imaginary world with strong female leads. I love having baths by candlelight. I love listening to 90’s music and intuitively knowing all the lyrics. I love all the fluff of self-care. I fall for all the pretty sparkly items that show up on my feed that will make my space more aesthetically pleasing. I know better and yet I still do it and love it. Knowing this I want to give you some tips and tricks around creating a self-care plan that works!
What I know to be true is that the fluff isn’t sustainable and it isn’t enough to create deep self-care. The fluff is what makes self-care look pretty. What happens when the fluff isn’t enough? Believe me when I tell you that the fluff isn’t enough despite all the insta photos of how a bubble bath and a pretty journal will change your life.
Dig into your values
When the fluff stops adding wellness to your life, then you can dig into your values to re-ground yourself in what truly matters to you. Values are what we deem to be important and non-negotiable such as honesty, integrity, fun, connection, creativity, goal-driven, and a million more. You can only really hold on to 5 values at most – we all want to say we value all the things but we don’t. Greg McKeown in his book Essentialism (a MUST read) shared that if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. The word priority means one above all else – so we can only have one single priority and that our brain can only hold on to 5 values at most.
Values serve to remind you what is at your core, what you’re willing to fight for, and what creates safety and connection in your life. They can be your North Star when you feel lost, they can be your best friend when you’re struggling, they can remind you of who you are and what you want for yourself. Whenever you feel lost in your heart, your values will pave the road back to yourself.
Get serious about your self-care
In our culture, we tend to frame self-care as a self-indulgent activity to showcase on all the social channels. We witness our friends and celebrities posting about their self-care days and how great it feels. Let me share a secret with you – life-supporting self-care doesn’t always feel good and it’s not insta worthy. It’s deeply personal work where you have to get honest and serious about boundaries, relationships, sleep, nutrition, rest, and looking into the mirror to gain self-awareness. All of this is HARD work that isn’t pretty. Self-care works towards preventing burnout, anxiety, depression, and self-harm in all its forms. It’s not a magic formula but a process that requires engagement and tweaking as things change. Self-care is the protective gear we wear in order to prevent serious injuries – just like all the folks on construction sites. It’s a requirement to remain present and attuned to your life, otherwise, we use all types of mechanisms to numb such as drinking, drugs, social media, food – to name a few.
Make it real
If you know me, you know that I’m constantly encouraging (or pushing lol) folks to journal – I never stop talking about it. If you want to get some tips on how to journal, watch this.
Why am I such a journaling pusher? Because it’s the easiest way to get real with yourself. It’s really easy for you to talk yourself out of something in your mind – the brain is a magical place filled with stories and potential ways to minimize and compartmentalize life. But when you put pen to paper, you cannot use those tricks. Writing helps you get real with yourself and your life – you see patterns, you ask questions, you reflect and make commitments to yourself that are grounded in your values and beliefs. The brain moves way too fast, its processing speed is way out of our league. Journaling is the easiest way to slow it down and get real with yourself.
Self-care is an essential piece of your life – you deserve to dig deep and create a plan that will keep you well. These past 18 months have been brutal and by the looks of it, it will continue to be challenging. Give yourself the gift of a good self-care plan that continues to evolve as you evolve.