Self-care hacks for more productivity AND pleasure
Updated: Mar 14
Have you noticed the wave of martyrdom sweeping through our fabulous midst, where the notion of doing something for yourself is met with guilt, confusion and a host of excuses about how indispensable you are to the lives of others?
After all, who has time to exercise when there are people out there that need your constant rescuing?
Pardon the cynical tone, but in my loong observations of women whose lives just work (instead of doing just work), is that success floods to those who keep their energy bucket full. These 'selfish' women, yes, who are mindful about how they feel before they rush off and take care of the world feeling strong, vital and energised.
The rest of us are prone to face the world feeling stressed, drained and unhappy (ie on an empty tank), all in the name of "being a friend" and "working hard"... sacrificing our wellbeing for the wellbeing of others.
So this ends here.
If you want to add some real value to your world, it's time to realise that your notion of "helping" others at the expense of your own life force is the ultimate selfish act... and for a plethora of reasons.
1. You are no good to anyone on an empty tank.
Smile solidly as you might, your underlying energy is still tired, stressed and cranky - and your mates are certain to pick up on that. If they need yo, but you're beat, reschedule and see them when you can be truly present. They will figure out another option. You can't be their only supply, because that breeds co-dependence.
2. You agree to help only to feel better about yourself and manage the opinions others uphold of you, rather than out of genuine consideration of what your friend actually needs.
For instance, do any of these sucky statements secretly hold true?
"I feel too guilty to say NO when a friend asks me to do a favour for them. I should always be there for my friends".
"I need to go to everything I am invited to. It is rude to decline and besides, I don't want to miss out".
"It's OK if I get behind on my tasks and responsibilities to self. My friends need me more."
Instead, here is the reality:
a) Relationships are built on an energy transference. Guilt and resentment do not nurture healthy dynamics. So help when the intention pours from your heart. The task may be challenging and gruesome... but you will want to do it.
If you "have" to, so that they don't think "badly" of you, or judge you in another way... and you need them to still think "well" of you, then get a reality check.
These are not valid reasons for service, but a resounding "this is about my friend's well-being, not about their opinion of me" is a green light.
If you do go ahead with the 'favour' when you are really not aligned, you are skewing with the natural flow of things (guided by both you and your friend's higher intuition), and an unbalanced dynamic will occur which will poke resentment holes in your friendship.
b) Being an "enabler" is not the sign of a true friend. This is a rescuer, someone who comes in to "fix" the dramas of their loved ones in the short term, but in effect leaves them disempowered in order to fulfil their own 'hero' fantasy. Even though enabling may feel like helping by removing short term pain, mutual toxic habits are being bred in the longterm.
c) Seeing friends and lovers on an empty battery can lead to more misunderstandings and fights. As I said earlier, the world needs you present, focused and connected - not drained, irritable and stressed.
Too often we forgo exercise, time out and just general self-care in favour of overworking, doing too much for people or socialising to the brim. Remember, friends only genuinely need you only once in a while. If your friends are always in some sort of drama that you feel compelled to fix, then you are not in a healthy dynamic and its costing you dearly. Re-evaluate the role you play in these relationships.
d) Who are you trying to impress? What's driving your striving?
Basically, stop trying so hard. Feminine energy is about receiving. Self-care means to filling up on your happy vibes, so that powerful magnetic energy can work through you. When you relax and release tension, there is more room for the innate goodness of your spirit to resonate in your cells.
When we are not in flow and life feels harder, we start to over-compensate by pushing too hard. This is SUCH a common and counterproductive strategy, and it makes me wince any time I see a woman pushing against the grain. In fact, I too lose my footing. I drop the ball and life suddenly gets hard. But I know now to just set back, take a breath and re-align before I can expect things to feel easy again... Because they're supposed to be easy.
Self-care must always come first. Ideally, don't do a thing until you meditate, have your run and journal your intentions for the day.
These rituals help me personally feel full of energy, confidence and inner guidance. I find when I do that in the morning, it feels like I don't lift a finger for the rest of the day. Goodness and ideas just flow.
Similarly, if I don't make the time for myself (even skipping a meditation session), everything is in reverse. No matter what I do, how hard I work or how intently I try to produce something... Nothing of value happens.
In summary: If you are always tired and busy doing things for everyone but yourself, it may be time to ask: why are you trying so hard?
Aren't you over over-compensating?
Frankly, it sounds like you are consuming yourself with all the wrong things and you are best off getting busy meditating and having a massage, don't you think? :)
Here are some of my fave ways to zone out and fill my cup:
- Regressing into my 80's world of movies, music, and other nostalgia that reminds me of a simpler (and daggier) time .
- Aromatherapy oils. Lavender still rocks. As does Geranium and Clary Sage.
- Jogging with my all my Spotify playlists outside - what world do I want to inhabit today?
- The OCEAN. 'Nuff said.
- Reading, writing, collaging, collating and generally pottering around the world of ideas...
What are some of your fail proof self-care delights?
What do you wish you did more of? Do you think self-care is selfish?
Share Share Share (how selfless is that ?! ;))