Here we are at the beginning of 2020 and already there is no shortage of articles and soundbites flooding our feeds about ways to practice self-care in the New Year.
The truth is, there are tons of great ideas out there and I hope you will find margin in your schedule to participate in at least a few of the more helpful practices.
However, there are a few, reoccurring tips that have caused me some butt-scrunch moments and consequently, compelled me to write what I realize may be unpopular thoughts on self-care.
To avoid anything that might be misconstrued as “nitpicking”, I will keep my list to just three. The rest of the ideas you find sprinkled throughout your Social Media feeds, I am confident you can discern for yourselves.
Popular self-care tip Number One. “Let It Go”.
There’s even a song about this one! (Frozen. Circa 2013) But, as we learned from our lovely-yet-unrealistically-drawn character, Princess Elsa, simply “letting it go” doesn’t quite work.
What if instead we made a tweak to this tip? Rather than the goal being to simply “let it go”, the goal becomes to acknowledge it, deal with it, get help healing from it and THEN let it go? Don’t conceal it. Feel it. (Watch the movie. You’ll get it.)
Popular Self-care Tip Number Two: “Be kind to yourself.”
Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this particular tip. In fact, I think it’s a great one! However…the rub comes when we have a misconception of what truly being “kind“ to ourselves means. It doesn’t mean justifying our bad behaviors or minimizing unhealthy and unhelpful habits because, after all, we’ve been through a lot! If we’re honest-that’s not really being kind to ourselves at all.
But- if we change the definition of “kind“ to something that includes ideas like learning to have grace for ourselves in the process of healing, growth and change, and caring well for ourselves holistically along the way, then I am all for it! There is no greater kindness, than allowing ourselves to find freedom.
Popular self-care tip Number 3: “Be true to yourself.”
Again, sounds lovely right? I mean, what says “self-care” better than being true to ourselves?
The problem? Which version of yourself are you being true to and what truth are you using?
What if your sense of self has been distorted? Or, what if your experiences in life have led you to a lot of ideas about yourself, others and even God that aren’t really true at all? What if your “truth” is actually unhealthy ideas and behaviors designed to help you avoid doing the work needed to become who you are truly meant to be and have the fulfilling relationships you were created for?
What if instead of saying “be true to yourself” we said “tell The Truth to yourself”? Truth rooted in health and wholeness. Truth in line with the One who created you for a full life.
What if this year we left behind some of the “soundbite self-care tips” that only serve to tickle the ears and give us the warm fuzzies and instead embraced real, deeply impactful self-care by doing the good, hard work needed to give us the life we truly want?
A life of freedom and wholeness.
One that inspires others to go after those same things for themselves.
Now THAT’S some self-care worth sharing.
For some resources that might help on your journey to true self-care, check out our website at www.itsmyoutloudvoice.com or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve found the ideas in today’s blog encouraging or helpful, why not share with family and friends on email and Social Media? Sign up and stay tuned for exciting offerings from My Out Loud Voice. Together, we’re going to make a difference. Together, we can break cycles, slay shame and find freedom. For ourselves, and for generations to come!