You are going to fall off the self-care wagon. You just are. Life will get hard, your job will get more stressful, you will be tired or lazy, or any random factor and suddenly you will notice you just polished off your 25th oreo. Or that you haven’t exercised in weeks. Or that your self talk has been SO mean lately. Or that important friendships/relationships have taken a backseat because you are working too much.
This will happen. And the sooner you recognize that this is all part of it, the sooner you can move on and get back to the very important task of practicing self care. But perhaps the trick is KNOWING this will happen, rather than being surprised when it does.
What if instead of saying to yourself, “Well you’ve done it again! All that hard work, and you’ve blown it!” You said, “Oh wait, looks like I got off course a little bit. I haven’t been paying attention to taking care of myself lately. Hmmm ok, well this is not a permanent bump in the road, so let’s get back on track.” That second approach isn’t allowing you much time to beat yourself up.
In fact, powerful things can happen when you change the way you react to noticing you’ve slipped up. The less time and energy spent on degrading yourself, ends up working in your favor. Instead of spending more hours and days berating yourself, your turn-around time is faster. Less time spent in self-loathing mode, is more time spent in self-care mode.
Also when you remind yourself that this is an expected turn of events, you will be less inclined to unpack all the many reasons you have “failed” and are a “loser” (p.s. you are NOT a failure or a loser). Feel free to assess where you went wrong, but don’t give that too much power or time. I understand the need to want to understand where you went wrong to prevent that from happening again. But if you’re investigating your motives for days upon days, cut it out, and get back to taking care of you.
So next time you notice that maybe your self-care has taken a bit of backseat to everything else right now, don’t freak out. Notice it, remind yourself you knew this would happen, dust yourself off, and pick up where you left off.
Take care of YOU.