- You already know you need to do more self-care – that ain’t rocket science.
- You already know you need to better manage stress – you’re not from Mars.
- You already know you need more shoes – because you’re only human.
Ok, that last one was a stretch, but I truly believe that shoes are life.
Fact is, we can’t help ourselves if we’re on the bottom of our list of priorities. The math just doesn’t add up. I’m not saying you need to drop all responsibilities and expect people to wait on you hand and foot (albeit that would be nice).
What I AM saying is perhaps to take a step back and consider some ways that you can nudge yourself a few rungs UP the ladder of priority.
Here’s my 3 suggestions:
#1 Can you do a 2-for-1?
Problem: Not sure if you know this about me, but I am an OTT dog lover. Yes I’m the weird stranger asking you if I can pet your dog. As a result, I am always putting my two adopted chihuahuas, Eszie & Eddie first. That means in the morning, their walk comes before my exercise. What ended up happening was… they got their walk, and I did nothing.
Solution: Two or three times per week, I now walk over to an off-leash park where they can roll in worms while I do a stretching (p.s. while I know you can’t just let small humans run free outside, perhaps you can think of a way to 2-for-1 another part of your day indoors?)
#2 Get out your guilt
Problem: Prioritising yourself makes you feel guilty.
Solution: As the researcher Dr Brene Brown explains, there is a big difference between guilt and shame. Guilt, she believes, is when we’ve done or failed to do something against our values, which can actually help us learn. Shame, in contrast, is when you feel like you’re flawed and therefore unworthy of love and/or belonging, and is counterproductive to self-discovery.
As such, when you’re finding yourself wanting to prioritise YOU, ask yourself: do you feel guilty for doing so? If so why? OR do you feel ashamed?
You might be thinking – how is this a solution? That’s the funny thing about growing self-awareness – you’ll quickly realise… you already have the answers inside yourself.
#3 Close some tabs
Problem: You have too much on to make yourself a priority.
Solution: Fact is, there is no solution if you’re not willing to take a step back and reassess the reason why you have so many darn tabs open! Are you a ‘yes’ person? The kind of person that says yes to people even though it’s a ‘hell no’? Folks, a candle can only burn on both ends for so long. Even SuperWoman would get tired after a while. Take a step back and ask yourself: which tab can I at least minimise for a while? #babysteps
Dr Katherine xo