Why is self-love so freakin’ hard?
Everywhere I turn I see and hear talk about self-love. It’s almost to the point where I’m sick of hearing about it. (Which is NOT good, about such a necessary thing!) Why is this topic so “up” right now and why does it even matter? Here’s what you need to know to navigate this:
Self-care is hard because it means different things to different people, and too many people are trying to TELL you what you need for self-care. Marketing strategists have seen the “self love” trend and are trying to use that very phrase to get you to buy more stuff. ESPECIALLY with the impending approach of one of the most emotionally triggered holidays of the year: Valentine’s Day. You’re gonna see a LOT of “treat yourself” and “practice self-care” and “you need this for self-care” messages in the next week or so, and you’re likely already seeing them. But buying yourself bath bombs or new clothing or a facial —these aren’t the key to self-care. So be mindful as you see all those messages coming at you, and don’t fall prey to buying more stuff that won’t change you, your life, or anything else. So don’t let someone else dictate what you need – especially when their motives are to get your $.
Self-care is hard because you’re going 90 miles an hour, most of the day. Life is busy, and it can be exhausting. And a huge part of self-care requires slowing down to listen and tune in. Self-care isn’t like a fast food drive through: “whaddya need?” It’s a long hot bath, giving your mind time to decompress long enough for you to ask, “What do I need?” and then being still and silent long enough to receive the answer. HINT: the answer is not “more bath bombs.”
PRIORITIZE YOUR NEEDS.
Self-care is so hard is because we have been taught to think of others. This is a part of childhood – we start out very young learning the difference between me vs. we. Babies are all about getting their needs met, and then as toddlers, we must learn to be part of a group – a family, siblings, a play group. We learn to share, and to think of others. We learn to sacrifice a little, share resources (and mommy), etc., so that our family/group/community can all benefit. Otherwise we’d all grow up to be selfish d*cks who don’t care two figs about anyone else. (You’ve met someone like that, right?) But often, at this impressionable age we mistakenly learn “always put others first, otherwise you’re selfish” instead of “consider the needs of others as well as your own.” We sacrifice our own well-being by prioritizing the needs of others over our own. And then we wonder why we’re burned out, overwhelmed giant walking talking stressballs. So as adults, self-care is hard because we worry we’re being selfish if we take care of our own needs instead of focusing on others.
In summary – self-care can get easier if we become more mindful, slow down and listen to ourselves and our bodies for what we need, and then prioritize our own needs. And of course, clear anything that berates us or says “but what about…?” or tries to tell you you’re being selfish. And let me know if I can help you clear that 😉