Has your Self Care turned into a "To-Do" list?
#selfcare is THE buzzword these days. You see it all over social media and in advertisements for green smoothies and skin care.
I believe that self-care these days has the best of intentions. It means taking a moment for yourself. Putting your oxygen mask on first before tending to others. But it's become smothering. It has become exhausting.
It has become yet another checklist of things I am "supposed" to be doing.
Self-care started out small but has snowballed out of control into a list of expectations, that if I don't "check off" each day/week/month I am not taking care of myself.
Did I do my 10-step skin care routine in the morning and at night?
Did I drink my green smoothie?
Did I get in 30 minutes of exercise?
Did I fuel my body with leafy greens today?
Did I meditate?
Did I practice yoga this week?
Have I read at least 10 pages of a self-help book today?
Did I go through a bedtime ritual to create a calming atmosphere?
See what I mean? I'm already exhausted, just by typing out all the things I am "supposed to be doing" for self-care!
In Episode 72 of my podcast, From Now to Next with Bianca Lager, we dive into these self-care expectations and how they can add to the feeling of failure - the feeling of being STUCK - the feeling of inadequacy because you aren't able to keep up with the Instagram models who are able to dedicate their days to self-care.
All these self-care items are great - if they fit your schedule and your life. But I want to challenge you to view self-care in a different light.
I challenge you to view self-care as a form of #advocacy.
Advocate for yourself - for your needs. If binging The Real Housewives and all things BRAVO TV is your go-to activity for numbing out, then do it!
If you need to skip the yoga, mediation, and exercise for a night out with your friends, then DO IT.
Advocate for what you need - not what society or pop culture tells you.
But also advocate for yourself. Is your boss passing you over for the promotion? Show self LOVE and CARE for yourself by speaking up. Ask for the raise. Ask for the promotion. Ask your boss what you can do to get that promotion and why you were passed up.
Is your spouse not taking up his or her share of the household chores? Set clear boundaries on what you will and will not do by having a conversation with them about equality in the home.
Self-care is a form of love, and to love yourself is to advocate for yourself.
You must speak up for your needs at home with family, at work with your team, and in LIFE.
To jump on the bandwagon, self-care is not selfish, but it is more than a green smoothie and a massage.
It is about speaking up for your needs, your growth, and your aspirations,
It is self-promotion.
It is setting yourself up for success.
It is putting boundaries in place.
YES! You must put your oxygen mask on first - but it's more than washing your face and a good stretch.
Self-care is self-advocacy.