I’m a recovering over-achiever. Not that I don’t still try to do my best, and still regularly push myself beyond my limits (note the “recovering” in the description), but over the past few years I’ve become more aware of both the behaviors that lead to that pushing, but also the mindset from which they originate.
I know I’m not the only one.
If you’re reading this blog, you probably not only know what I’m talking about, but know how it feels to reach the end of your energetic rope. That familiar crash can be soft (fatigue) or loud (illness), but there are always consequences to burning your beautiful, bright candle at both ends.
Mind over matter, yes. At some point, though, your matter has to, well…matter.
The old idea of self-care was that it was for fragile people. Strong people, achieving people, impressive people were endlessly resilient, and never needed recharging. Now we know better, and we know that’s just LIES designed to protect us from acknowledging important things like our own basic needs, our humanity, and our vulnerability.
Yup, that’s right. Taking care of yourself can be scary, because step one is admitting that you need it. FTR, there’s no debating that, because we all do. Being real about that is something different, though.
Another old idea about self-care is that it’s exclusively comprised of cucumber masks and soothing spa music. I mean, sure, that works for me, but it may not work for everyone. Self-care can definitely be about slowing down, getting rest, and catching your breath. It can also mean going for a run, climbing a mountain, reading a book, or going to a concert. Self-care means doing things that make you feel like you’re taking care of yourself.
Seems obvious now, doesn’t it?
One more amazing thing about self-care is that, contrary to old-school thinking, self-care is about power. When you plug your phone into a charger, the battery recharges. That happens faster if you don’t use it while it’s charging, BUT it will happen regardless. If you ignore that need, your power supply is going to dwindle, until it’s straight up gone.
So go ahead, find your charging station. Plug in for just as long as you need to fill up, and then head back out there. The world needs all the incredible things you can do when you’re at your fullest power.
Photo credit: Matthew Henry