I found my own freedom from the “do more, be more” mindset and the alcohol that seems to make the hustle easier, and now I’m here to share words of encouragement with you.
Cozy up with some tea for my reflections on finally, blessedly, living and loving life by simply figuring out the next right thing.
reformed people-pleaser, former gray-area drinker, and Senior Certified This Naked Mind Coach.
Self-care is for the birds. No doubt a funny thing to hear coming from a freedom from stuck/ habit change coach. And don’t get me wrong taking care of yourself is very valuable and necessary. Just not in the ways we’ve been conditioned to believe we should practice self-care.
For years, I thought self-care meant several glasses of wine, some junky snacks and a Netflix binge. Or a mom’s night out with girlfriends where we let our hair down, drank too much wine and got to take a break from being responsible for tiny humans for a minute. Or a weekend away with the hub wile we day drank and laid by the pool all day. While none of these things is inherently wrong and they certainly all felt good in the moment, I didn’t realize that ultimately they were doing the opposite of caring for me. They all came with a cost.
Staying up later than I would have otherwise to do these things meant I was more tired after doing the thing that was supposed to be my self-care. Not to mention how alcohol and sugar disrupt sleep. Less rest does not make for taking care of self. Consuming, scratch that—over-consuming wine and food meant I’d have to work twice as hard in the gym the next day to undo all the damage from the excessive sugar and empty calories. Not to mention how I felt as I continued the self-punishment with a strict protein shake diet, intermittent fasting and cleanse the following week.
And how did I show up in the world when I was operating from this place of exhaustion, over-indulgence and self-punishment? Irritable, impatient, snippy, short-fused and did I say painfully tired? And how did I want to be showing up in the world? Not like that! I wanted to show up loving and kind and patient and generous. The opposite of how I was actually showing up.
Doing things that leave us more depleted and more exhausted than before we did them is not self-care. Doing things that leave us needing to punish ourselves around food and exercise is not self-care. Doing things that leave us showing up the opposite of how we want to be showing up IS NOT SELF-CARE.
For self-care to be true self-care it has to truly care for us. It should at the very least meet our most basic human needs. For rest. For nourishment. For rejuvenation. Not the need for quick relief from whatever discomfort we feel and comes with the sneaky giant cost in how we feel. And therefore how we show up.
When we’re showing up one way—and not in the way that aligns with what we need and what we value—we create inner conflict. Conflict creates more discomfort and only perpetuates the cycle of discomfort, quick relief, cost, punishment and repeat.
True self-care will meet our basic needs and the bigger picture needs we have, the ones that actually sustain us. Like the biological human need and value we have for meaningful connection, love and purpose. When those bigger needs are met we feel better because we are being filled up from the inside out. Not from the outside, quick and temporary fixes, we’ve been sold as self-care.
Being filled from the inside out means we are meeting our needs and aligning with our values which means we feel better and we show up better. The natural outflow will be showing up with love in our hearts and patience in our actions. From that place we are best able to care for the tiny humans we’ve been entrusted to care for. Or our aging parents who need our help. Or our friends whom we love and care about.
What are you doing to truly care for yourself, today? If the answer is something that will leave you feeling really full—full from the inner peace you get when what you need and value is aligned with your actions—the result will be showing up the way you want to be showing up. This is how we know we’re caring for ourselves. This is how we know we’re caring for our souls.
Soul-care takes care of us on a cellular level and allows us to naturally and lovingly care for others. Which incidentally also feeds my soul! Win-win! Self-care is for the the birds but soul-care is where we find the rest and relief we so desire.
Soul-care for me means carving out moments for stillness and silence and solitude. Making soul care a priority. Not just waiting to see if I can squeeze it in at the end of a day.
It means grabbing a warm cup of tea and a cozy blanket and journaling, reading, praying and listening to music. It means going to bed when I’m actually tired and getting the rest I need. It means asking my body what it needs for nutrition and for movement.
It also means not saying yes to doing something when my real answer is no. It means trading the hustle and the addiction to doing for the being. It means an opportunity to be filled up with the love and warmth that I desire to offer others. And when I do, that love and warmth is naturally what is poured out because of its abundance in me.
What would be different for you if you focused not on self-care but on soul-care?
As a freedom coach, writer, educator, and speaker, I empower others to find freedom from the alcohol habit that’s keeping them stuck so they can discover who they are, reconnect to their true self, and create a life of their choosing.
certified freedom coach