Practicing Self-care

24 April 2021

Generally speaking, when we think of self-care, what comes to mind? Is it aromatherapy, candles, hitting the gym or  hiking in nature - doing things that make you happy? Yes, these activities are positive - it's good to take time out for yourself to do the things you enjoy. 


Perhaps you're missing the point? Changing our belief systems in our everyday life is a necessary form of self-care. For example, over-committing to work deadlines and straining your eyes on a bright computer screen at 2 am. Hindsight is superb - I should have told my boss I needed two extra days or extended the deadline when she asked. Now it's 3 am, and you're exhausted from just looking at your to-do list for tomorrow.  


FAIL - First attempt in learning. I love this sentence, but why are we repeating the same mistakes? Why do we keep saying yes when we want to say no. It all comes down to neural pathways and learnt patterns of behaviour. 


The YES problem. What do you associate with the word yes? I’m kind, I’m selfless, and I want to help others. That’s a great attitude to have within yourself, but not when it comes to burning yourself out. Changing your belief system is difficult, but it will become easier when you figure out what YES means to you and how you can flip the connotations behind it. 


Here are some tips to help with the YES dilemma: 

  • Tell the truth: ALWAYS find a way to be truthful. There's nothing worse than being caught in a lie. But you can leave out information (like that you could reschedule an appointment so you are available) to protect your "No"…

  • Timing can be everything: No does not mean "No forever". Sometimes you just need time or circumstances to be right. So don't allow yourself to be pressured into giving a response if you're not ready. Sometimes you just need time to figure out if it's really a "No", a "Not now" or a "Never".

  • Stay firm: People who are used to relying on you saying yes will try to persuade you. Don't get drawn into discussion. Just repeat your No and have phrases ready. "I'm unavailable", "I can't right now" or "I have other commitments".


Remember - saying no doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person; it means you care about yourself. It means you care about others, and you can’t function when you're exhausted. 

What now?

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