Many of us feel constantly distracted, pathologically busy and incredibly stressed. Arguably, we have never been more in need of intentional self-care.
But even when you have a few hours of longed-for freedom, you might find you resist your own necessary restoration.
For some of us, self-care can be really hard work.
It can be helpful to remember that there are almost always sound reasons underneath our resistance.
You might have inherited beliefs from your family that confuse self-care with selfishness, laziness or indulgence. If you feel fulfilled taking care of others, it can be a little jarring to prioritise your own needs.
When you are making hundreds of decisions every day, it’s completely understandable that choosing intentional self-care can feel like one task too many.
In these politically charged times, we might feel conflicted about our own self-care, when we see the very basic needs of those in our community going unmet.
After years of coaching hundreds of women, I have found that many of us resist our own necessary restoration activities because we’re afraid of the emotions that might well up from within if we do.
If claiming the time and space for your own self-care fills you with discomfort, you are far from alone!
Why Do We Need to Talk About Resistance?
If resistance to self-care is an issue for you, it’s highly likely you’ll encounter these feelings when you choose to retreat with State of Liberty. One of the reasons we have a safe, private online discussion forum is to help you navigate through this. We believe that sharing within a like-minded community can be reassuring, comforting and empowering.
It can be helpful to remember that exploring any resistance you encounter is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of yourself. It can also help you integrate self-care practices into your daily life on a long-term basis.
Actively choosing to prioritise our own needs is a deeply courageous act.
So many of us avoid the work of being comfortable in our own skin. Our culture is much more interested in how our bodies look, than how it feels to us to live here.
Yet, this is the real work of self-care: to tend to our physical homes, to feel the weight of our physicality, to allow ourselves to take up space in our own lives.
Paying attention to the vessel that holds all of you – your memories and emotions, your personality and preferences – is not superficial or self-indulgent. It’s a necessary life-affirming act.
And it’s SO worth it!
The Benefits of Tending to Your Own Needs
Deciding to tend to your own needs for rest, nourishment, sleep, reflection and connecting with your own heart is worth it. It means you will return to the world refreshed, with new energy and ideas. You will have more capacity for your work and the care of others.
Honouring your needs even when you might feel guilt or discomfort, is an opportunity to consider how much you might be holding together for the sake of appearances. It’s worth setting clear expectations with family about sharing the responsibilities you might have taken on. It means you get to claim your time instead of holding onto resentment for loved ones.
Giving validity to your being, rather than what you are doing, allows you to begin to accept yourself without any need for measuring your performance, effort and productivity. It’s valuable to begin to see that your needs are worthy of your own attention, and this does not have to be earned.
What if you were easily able to trust yourself to know what you need?
What if you were able to rest and not feel guilty?
What if you were able to bravely meet your needs, without worrying what anyone might think?
What if you were able to make a sustainable habit out of feeling nourished, rested, and energised?
Sas, Lizzie and the SOL team xx