It’s a buzz word/term that we hear about both in and out of recovery circles.
By now we’re well versed on the benefits and challenges that go along with making self-care a practice.
The benefits include (but are not limited to) reduced stress, anxiety and increased productivity, while the challenges can be anything from time, money to the insidious idea that taking care of yourself is self-indulgent or selfish.
The Internet is chock-full of articles busting with suggestions on all the things you can do to create a self-care practice. Meditation, walking, leisurely coffee breaks and journaling are some of the most common.
I’ve also covered the topic of self-care from this perspective previously on GUC. You can check that earlier post out by CLICKING HERE.
But what I want to share with you today is probably going to be a bit different from what you’re used to hearing about self-care.
Typically, when we think about taking care of ourselves we start by focusing on all the things that we can do.
But recently I discovered a simple twist in my self-care practice that led me to shift my thinking from all that I can do for self-care to what I can stop doing.
For example, for the last month I’ve cut back drastically on the amount of time I spend at the gym.
Movement has always been my first self-care go-to. But recently I’ve noticed that getting to the gym and spending energy there hasn’t felt as good as it usually does.
My body, for whatever reason, is just not having it right now. So instead of pushing through it, I decided to just go with the flow and hit the pause button.
When I made the conscious decision to stop, I noticed that the drama going on in my head, about getting to the gym, also stopped.
And in my world, less drama and less mental friction equals greater peace of mind which, for me, is one of the many benefits of self-care that I treasure.
I’ve also noticed, as a result of stepping away from the gym, I’ve been focusing more on what I eat, on drinking more water and getting a solid 10 minutes of meditation in every morning.
So when you’re considering your self-care practice remember that it’s not only about what you do to take care of yourself, but it can also be about what you stop doing.
Sometimes the activities or habits that we press pause on can yield the same positive self-care benefits we get from all that we do for self-care.
And remember, just because you stop doing something doesn’t mean that you can’t pick that practice up again at a later point. For example, this past Saturday, after nearly a month of no weights or cardio, I got up early and took a Soul Cycle spin class. I didn’t do it because I felt like I had to, because that’s what I’ve always done for self-care, but I went because I wanted to.
Remember, self-care isn’t limited to just what you do but it can also be about what you stop doing that can make a powerful difference.
So now I want to hear from you. Head to the comment section and tell me at least one thing you can stop doing, right now, in the name of self-care. How can you apply this powerful shift from always doing to hitting the pause button in your life?
Try to think not just about the obvious things you can stop such as smoking or eating ice-cream every night or arguing with a relative. What about the not-so-obvious things you can stop doing? Is there a self-care practice you have going that you could take a break from? How could you apply this idea at work? Around your family?
For example, if reading has always been part of your practice but you’ve noticed that lately you just haven’t been feeling it or maybe you’ve started to put too much pressure on yourself to finish a certain book, maybe it’s time to consider hitting the pause button.
I look forward to hearing from you in the comments.
Also, this Friday, August 25th at 1pm Eastern we’ll be discussing self-care over on Facebook during Growing Up Chaotic’s LIVE Facebook show.
To join in all you have to do is show up to GUC’s Facebook page at 1pm on Friday.
I hope I’ll see you there LIVE!
Remember your voice, experiences and insights are vital to this community. And what you have to share is not only unique but it may be exactly what someone else needs to read. And that someone could be you.
Thanks for being part of the GUC community!
Until next Tuesday,
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