I Don't Like Self-Care. Nope.

Eating well? Yeah. Sometimes, I hate it.

Can we talk about self-care for a hot minute?

I kind of hate it.

I know. I'm not supposed to hate it, but I do. I hate drinking my water, I hate doing things that make me feel good. I hate the effort it takes to find, fix and eat foods that fuel my body well. I hate putting on spandex to go work out, and I super hate trying to find activities that I enjoy so much that it doesn't "feel" like exercise.

I like ignoring my body's needs. I like eating food that makes me feel shitty. I like being sedentary. I like staying in my cycle of survival because thriving just feels effing hard. The units of energy I exert for self-care rarely feel congruent to the benefit I receive in return. And you'd better believe all the stars have to completely align for me to stay in a routine of self-care for any amount of time, because the moment they lose their places in the sky, I'm back to my IDGAF ways.

Honestly, I even loathe the term "self-care" and choke on the words when I am forced to utter them.

This is not a popular process to share out loud. I know it's not because in an age of social media, it's so much easier to highlight the great things you're doing and hide the things that don't make you look like you have your shit together.

And I so do not have my shit together.

The truth is, changing my default setting of survival to self-care is really hard work. And hard work is, well, HARD. So, I choose small steps to get out of my default settings when I've reverted to them.

Self-care is a foundation in my life and I don't enjoy it. It's arduous and I feel overwhelmed by the mental and emotional presence it requires to hold my life with tenderness and nurture. I don't do a single act of self-care because I want to.

I do it because it connects me. To myself. To my kids. To my partner. To my community. To my work in this world.

As hard as it is, and as much as I often suck at it, I do it because my quality of life is better when I do. My anxiety decreases when I eat actual food instead of drinking another cup of coffee. I'm nicer to my 3-year-old when I go to bed at 10 p.m. instead of staying up until midnight watching Netflix. I also have the energy to take him places, like the park. It's a win for both of us because I chase him and get some fresh air while he gets all of his big feels out through physical play.

My brain fog clears when I drink my water and take my supplements. I show up for my work in a grounded and dynamic way when I'm committed to doing the things that I don't love doing, but that make me a better human.

The truth is, changing my default setting of survival to self-care is really hard work. And hard work is, well, HARD. So, I choose small steps to get out of my default settings when I've reverted to them.

Drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning.

Put on clean underwear.

Brush hair.

Leave the house. Grab the mail. Stand in the grass for three minutes. Just get outside.

Eat something other than trail mix and toddler leftovers. It doesn't matter what.

Take a deep breath. Notice it.

Disconnect from technology for an hour.

Reach out to a friend.

Look for reasons to laugh.

Keep your goals small and manageable while you're in times of stress or transition or when you just can't seem to get out of the IDGAF cycle. You deserve to thrive. I do, too. We can do this together, one tiny act of self-caring at a time.

And if anyone has a suggestion for a new term for self-care, BRING IT.

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