A Day in the Mind of a Self Care Warrior
It won’t come as a surprise to hear that I’ve spent a great proportion of life struggling with guilt, feeling selfish and going full pelt, with no thought to the effect on myself. A lot of us do.
I’ve talked a lot on my blog about how things have changed for me in the past couple of years, and how my mindset has shifted. I used to be someone who would google how to relax, how to find a hobby and symptoms of burnout.
Self care? It wasn't even part of my dictionary!
Now, I’m a lot happier - doing things for my own pleasure, and taking time out. I’ve changed my perspective on changing the world, and I’m a hell of a lot happier.
But, that doesn’t mean that every day is a breeze. So, I thought today’s post would cover what it’s like to be in the mind of a self care warrior and the things I do every day to really solidify and affirm that mindset.
It’s not an easy transition, and is absolutely a work in progress.
What it takes is constant grounding, bringing myself back to what’s important, and regular reminders to slow down, take time for myself and appreciate the beauty of the moment, instead of getting lost future-tripping.
The Decision Filter
For example, I try to make sure that decisions go through a filter - that filter is mainly unconscious now as I’ve worked hard to instill these values. My decision filter goes a little something like this:
1. Will it bring me joy?
2. Does it align with my values?
3. How much energy will it realistically take, and do I have that energy?
4. What have I already got going on?
Remembering to think about my energy, being seriously realistic about how long things take, and figuring out whether it's going to be something that sets my heart on fire, or paves the way for something to do just that, is super important.
On days that are harder than others, where old thought patterns start creeping in, I remind myself of following things. They keep me grounded, they keep me in the moment, and they keep my self-esteem up.
I am enough.
Self care is a necessity, not a luxury.
I am not responsible for other people's decisions or the way they live their live.
[Tweet " I am not superwoman, she does not exist."]
That first one? That's the mothership of everything self care related. It's not about being good enough, being nice enough, kind enough, smart enough. It's about knowing you are enough, right in this moment, without needing to change anything.
As a creative person, and someone who loves thinking about ideas and hearing about other people's stories, feeling inspired is really important to me.
I take a bit of a no-nonsense approach to keeping inspired. I spent about ten years waiting for a muse to arise out of mid-air, and I hardly wrote a word during that time. I became blocked, stuck, and waiting on some external thing to come and rescue me. Inside secret: it never did.
Instead, I had to focus on feeding my mind and soul instead.
There are a couple of things that work for me, really really well:
1. Showing up
Allowing myself excuses, but recognising them as just that. I give myself breathing space, and then I woman up and get down to it. Showing up is about 80% of the effort behind being successful. (Percentage picked out of thin air, but I think it's pretty accurate).
2. Surrounding myself with inspiring people
Spending time with people who are loud and proud themselves, and are living their life their own way really inspires me. That includes spending time with friends and listening to talks, reading and listening to interviews. I find passion contagious.
However, I also think it's so important to create your own path and know that you can change things, using your strengths in the only way you can. While I love being surrounded by people who inspire me, it's so crucial to not try and be a watered down version of someone else. Let you freak flag fly and be the only thing you can be - you.
3. Taking time out
If I'm starting to feel tired, or ideas just aren't flying, I really acknowledge that it's time to take time out. I always know that having some downtime and doing things that make me really happy puts the sparkle back in my life, so I kick back, take care of myself and trust that I'll be back in the game belong.
The quote 'It will all be alright in the end, and if it's not alright, it's not the end', is a really important element of how I live life.
It's not easy
Putting yourself first, and nurturing yourself is always a work in progress. Some days it's harder than others to remember that I am enough. Some days decisions don't go through the filter properly and I panic about little things.
And that's okay.
None of us are perfect, and it's never going to go 100% right, and that's okay.
It's how we pick ourselves up when we go off track, when we fall off the wagon that counts.
Like Mary Ann Radmacher said (warning! favourite quote ever coming up!)
"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow."