To care or not self-care…
The picture above is of Rachel. In Grey’s Anatomy terms (so I am told), Rachel is my person. A constant in the crazy, she is there to celebrate wins, word me if I am being a dick, and everything in between. She is quite simply outstanding at it and I am beyond lucky to have her in my life. I have spent the past month living with Rachel while searching for my new home, which happens to be within walkie-talkie range of her house.
A few nights ago, having enjoyed a few ales on the sofa, Rach stood up to get something and I noticed her figure. As you can see, she is an absolute worldy.
‘It’s not fair, how are you SO HOT’ I yelped, ‘You don’t work out or anything, you jut live your life and do what you want and you’re really hot’.
Rachel, accustomed to my own body-dysmorphic madness side-eyed me and wondered off to wherever she was going.
AND I HAD AN EPIPHANY.
Firstly, our Rachel does not sit at home daily nailing salt and vinegar crisps on the sofa while binge watching Anthony Bourdain (although I feel this would be a fine afternoon for her). She is a highly success woman in the wine industry, running her own city centre site; so she definitely gets her steps in. She enjoys cooking, is passionate about local/seasonal produce and eats very well.
In terms of drinks, never a bad one will pass her lips (she will not even touch a rubbish brew) and unsurprisingly she has exquisite taste in wine and beer. Her free time is spent catching up with friends and family, tending to her home, helping others, and making full use of the spa facilities at her gym.
All these activities nourish her from the inside out. Rachel does what she does operating from a space of deep and self-care. It feels good, so that is what she does.
Think about this for apply it to your own day-to-day. The activities you fill your day with may look a lot like this, but what is the story you’re telling yourself behind it?
This where my epiphany comes in.
33 year old, comfortable, grounded me goes to the gym because I like to look after my body. So I can prevent injuries occurring. So I can get stronger and bendier. So I can celebrate this outstanding healthy vessel that does all these cool things.
My inner critic (her name is Stacy) goes to the gym because if I do not, I will get fat, ugly, unemployable and will die alone – seems a bit much doesn’t it really.
Present day me eats her vegetables because I really bloody enjoy broccoli (perhaps a bit too much), love the flavours and am comforted in the knowledge that I am giving my body the nutrients it needs.
Stacy wants us to eat salad because bread is a sign of weakness and I need to really prove to myself that I can take care of myself so NO CHEESE FOR YOU.
Can you see where I am going with this?
I could even go into my social life this way – current me enjoys belly laughing with friends over a big glass of wine. If my energy isn’t in the right place, I have no issue in saying I can’t make it and taking the time to restore (in the bath…watching old cricket videos…).
But Stacy needs to go out because what if they need something and I am not there and I am a bad friend, or what if they hate me for cancelling and never invite me again?!
You may have noticed by now that my inner critic is absolutely batshit. And even though I hope you do not, you probably can relate to something here.
Recently I completed a coaching course (Enlifted Level 1 – very good, would recommend), and part of our training required us to read out our inner critic story. On week 1 it was sad and stoic, fully of locked jaws and tense breaths. By the final week we were doing it in silly accents while fart noises were piped into the background.
Because it really is bullshit.
My Stacy story is highly inaccurate, and after reading it out as many times as I have I can tell you I honestly do not believe that.
Self-care can absolutely be preventative, but it does not make you a better person.
You make you a better person.
Through acknowledging this negative diatribe, we can start to take better care of ourselves by letting our activities actually come from a place of genuine self-care and not atonement. And you know what?
If you skip the gym and eat a pizza it is fine. Nobody will die and you will not turn into that marshmallow guy from Ghostbusters.
The better care you take of yourself, the better equipped you are to share your awesomeness with the world, the better place the world is for having you in it.
So for me, the moral of the story is to #BeMoreRachel and focus on where I am now, not my inner critic, when it comes to looking after myself. Rachel is not only an exceptional woman, she is also a prime example of how being kind to yourself really does radiate gorgeousness.
Repeat after me –
I am enough.
I take care of myself because I deserve to feel good.
I am enough.
Let me know if any of this resonates.
Love you long time xoxo