Learning to say ‘no’ is the hardest part of self-care, right?
Well, maybe not.
Don’t get me wrong; saying ‘no’ is pretty hard. But what if the hardest part of self-care is learning to say ‘yes’ to yourself?
Right now, as I’m writing this, there are a million other things I could be doing. Urgent things. Things (and these are the worst) I should be doing.
We all struggle with that feeling of being stretched too thin. It came up a lot at the moon lodge I attended last week.
(If you’re new to moon lodges, picture a women-only gathering. We get together and support each other in whichever way is appropriate. Each lodge is different, and if it’s a gathering of men, it may be called a warrior lodge.)
Now, moon lodges are totally sacred and everything said within the circle is completely confidential. But I don’t think it’s breaking any kind of trust to tell you that all the women there were feeling a big squeeze on their time and energy reserves.
Between family life, work and crisis management, these women were fraught and exhausted. I know the feeling, and I don’t have kids!
But, I’m trying this new thing: saying ‘yes’ to myself.
You’ve heard of being in denial.
But are you denying yourself?
I’m new to this whole self-care thing. It has taken me 29 years to realise that rarely do I eat properly, sleep enough or move my body in the most beneficial ways.
Rarely do I nourish myself on a deeper level with my true loves: books, time spent in nature, spiritual me-time or creative work.
The one thing I do know about self-care? It starts with a big, fat ‘yes’ to you.
Recently, I started saying just that.
I go to an awesome personal trainer once a week, and do as many of her workouts as I can in the meantime.
(If seeing a PT makes me sound like a celebrity, let me tell you that it’s totally affordable and so worth it.)
I eat healthily (most of the time).
I get my hair done.
I get my nails manicured and my eyebrows waxed.
I read a little before bed.
These are all small things that I could easily talk myself out of.
It’s been hard.
I’ve had to completely restructure my entire bloody life.
It’s an ongoing process.
The struggle is real.
But I don’t care.
But the truth is, it’s all worth it. I’m worth it. I’m already closer to living the life I want to live. And I want you to do the same.
I know your finances and commitments are probably getting in the way.
But I also know, from being there myself, that the only thing getting in your way is you.
This post is dedicated to my awesome friend and inspiration, Georgina Sirett-Armstrong-Smith, for teaching me about denial, procrastination, and standing in my own way, as well as so much more.