I Suck at Self-Care

By Tracy Gowler 5 years ago
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I find so much of my inspiration from my clients or articles I have read but this time, I am using myself as an example.  I used myself previously regarding cheating on my diet.  Today I want to spend some time talking about the real struggle that I have.  Self-care which is so important to the healing process and I am the worst at it.  Ahhh, maybe it is a little stronger than that.  I suck at it.

Self-care is very difficult for an overachieving, uber focused, Type A personality.  And on top of that, my passion is all about serving and helping others.  I absolutely thrive in this environment.  I was going to say it leaves me little time for self-care, but the reality is that I feel it is almost by design.  Have I explored this?  Of course, and that is why I am writing about it.

Why this week? 

Well, it seems I can help my clients most when I am honest about my own shortcomings.  I have plenty.  And I have recently found it necessary to explore why I was struggling so much with providing empathy to my dearest and longest friend.  She needed me and I felt so inadequate in what I was providing to her.  I took some time to explore this because that is what I do.  I also had an opportunity to discuss it with a few key people in my world.

What struck me was a question that I was asked.  “Do you provide yourself empathy?”  Great question.  The answer is “No”.  There is no room for empathy in owning the way I feel I have contributed to my illness.  And the reality is that even if I didn’t feel I contributed either knowing or unknowing, I would still own what was needed to heal and I can’t do that in the middle of pity parties.  So, empathy has not been a word or an action I have allowed myself.

I believe self-care is born from empathy.  At least it is for me.  My lack of it is bordering on disrespect of myself.  This opens up a bloody can of worms which could take me down a number of rabbit holes like if I don’t respect myself, how can I expect that from others, etc, etc.

Back to self-care.  Self-care means slowing down.  It means fighting to quiet a busy mind.  It means evaluation of myself and my life and the process of healing can already seem too much.  And it means fighting for time that I am already giving to so many and how do I make that time for me and still complete all of the things on my list.  And I’m failing at it in a very big way.

I hate that word, fail.  I don’t like to fail. 

Another thing I am bad at, stress management.  It takes up too much time.  And it goes hand in hand with self-care doesn’t it.  I can be great at it for months and months and then I wake up one day and just decide that I don’t want to work so hard at it and I quit.  Then I spend 2-3 months beating myself up for not doing what I know I need to and I dabble in it.  Then I dive in again and try to comply for my body’s sake.  Argghhhh.  Failing.  Hating myself.  Breathing, offering myself grace.

It’s a cycle that I can’t seem to get out of, but I am trying. 

I have been reminded lately in a very strong way that the self-care and management of stress is so much more important than almost anything else I can do.  About 2 months ago, my body began to say No.  No more.  And I found myself have significant pain and discomfort after eating.  I moved to a mostly liquid diet for a while, suspecting I might have picked up some bacteria on my travels.  And I might have so I started a protocol for bacteria.  It helped for a bit but then it kicked off again.  But then I went to visit my bestie, and guess what? All of my symptoms went away.  It was amazing.  Came back home, and it started all over again.  WTF?

Duh Tracy!!! 

One of my most favorite songs ever just came on.  Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest.  I can remember laying on my bed at 8 yrs old listening to this song in 1972.  And it soothes my soul every time I hear it.  Music is my peaceful place.  Nature is also my peaceful place hence the picture I included with this blog.  You should try it.

Anyway, back to the blog.  Being healthy really is simple.  I have been given one body to live in.  I must honor it.  It requires simple things like good food, rest, exercise and managing the stresses of my life and that includes self-care.

It requires believing that I am worth it.  Because if I don’t, nobody else will.  It means making time for me, doing what is needed for my health every single day.

And, I am tired of having this argument with myself, so I am offering myself some grace and understanding.  It is about progress not perfection.  I am going to finish this blog, practice some TRE and go to bed.

If you don’t know what TRE means, it stands for Trauma and Tension Release Exercise.  It is easy to do, and it does amazing things for stress relief.  If you want to know more, I will introduce you to my friend Travis Rumsey, or you can reach out to him directly at travis@travisrumsey.com.

I hope you all have a fabulous week.  Catch you all next week.


Photo by adrian on Unsplash

  Autoimmune and Self Care, Autoimmune Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Healing from Autoimmune, Healing from Hashimoto's, Stress
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 Tracy Gowler

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