The Real Reason Your Self Care is Failing You

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I was talking to another Massage Therapist the other day, and she mentioned the problem of à la carte self care and why it doesn’t work. It really struck a nerve with me.

She was talking about how you’ll take this yoga class over here, you’ll drink a green smoothie today, or you’ll go for a run this weekend.

The problem isn’t with any of those things. The problem is you’ll go to yoga class if you’re not too tired after work, you’ll meditate if you get up early enough, you’ll have a healthy dinner if you have time to go to the store. 

The real problem is you’re half-assing you’re self care.

So you’re always tired, there’s never enough time, and being stressed is a way of life.

You know you would feel better if you exercised more often, went to sleep at a decent hour, and ate more spinach. But you’re not doing those things.

It’s not your fault.

Our culture values busy-ness. We check our email while we’re eating lunch, we skip vacations, we wear Busy like it’s a badge of honor, all in the name of being productive. Like, if we do enough, we’ll deserve to take some much needed rest. We’ll have earned that vacation!

But the to-do list never ends. And we wind up sleep-deprived, irritable, and sick.

Think about it. When you ask someone how they are, how often do they say they’re stressed, busy, and/or tired?

What do you say when someone asks how you are? Overwhelmed, stressed-out, just trying to make it to Friday?

Is that what you want out of your life?

I get it. It’s hard. It seems like that’s just the way it is, like there is no other way to be.

Before I became a Massage Therapist, I had a job I found quite stressful. I used to always be “on.” When I was at work, I was hustling, trying to get all the things done. Rushing around trying to attend to everything in my inbox, constantly checking my email or voicemail to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, working through lunch.

When I was at home, I was constantly thinking about all of the things I still needed to get done at work. And vacation? Forget about it! When I actually did take a vacation, I would be so distracted thinking about all of the work piling up for me when I got back that I couldn’t enjoy myself.

When folks asked how I was, I’d say “it’s almost Friday.” And one of my coworkers would always say “it’s funny how we wish our lives away.” I’d laugh it off. But about the millionth time he said it, it really landed.

I was wishing my life away. 

Like, if I worked hard enough, one day in the distant future, I would deserve to live my life for me.

I am forever grateful that he kept asking that question.

So, I’m asking you. Can you relate? 

  • More often than not, do you wake up in the morning and just want to stay in bed and pull the covers over your head for just 5 more minutes, because you were thinking about everything you had to get done and couldn’t sleep?
  • Do you drag yourself out of bed because everyone is counting on you? Gulp down down some coffee. Stuff some food in your mouth. Maybe it was Oreos? Then off to work!
  • Do you feel like you’re just rushing around all day until you get home, exhausted but unable to turn your mind “off?”
  • Do you ever find yourself saying “I just need to make it to Friday, or vacation, or retirement?”
  • Are you wishing your life away? 

Do you want more than that from your life?

What if you could live a life you actually want?

Imagine if you woke up bursting with energy, excited for the day ahead. What would that be like? How would it affect the people around you, the folks you care about most?

No, really— take a moment to think about what that would be like.

What do you actually want your life to be like?

Are you ready to commit fiercely to you and living that life— not just dragging yourself through to some imaginary finish line?

If the answer is YES!, let’s talk. Click here to schedule a time to chat.

I love supporting people who KNOW they need to take better care of themselves to actually do it because I’ve been there. I know that pain. And I also know what happens when you choose you.

On the call, we’ll talk about what stress looks like for you, in your life. But we’ll also look at what your goals are, what you want, and what’s possible for you when you say yes to you. I want to help you find clarity and look at what those next steps might be for you. And if it feels like I might be able to help you to get there, I might talk with you about how I can support you in making that happen.

It’s not your fault you’re stuck in this constant cycle of feeling stressed, exhausted, and run-down, but it is your choice if you continue to stay there.

Book your call now

About Karyn

Karyn_square300In her years working as a massage therapist (and as a human actually dealing with stress), Karyn noticed just how many of us live our lives in a constant state of stress. Like it’s just how we are. We think we just need to get rid of that horrible boss, finish that huge project, or just make it to Friday, and then we’ll live the good life.

Karyn uses a combination of massage, yoga, and coaching to help folks break this cycle and learn to prioritize themselves so they can work with purpose, feel connected to the people they love, and actually feel present for their life.

 

Move More, Feel Better

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Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you probably already know that!

We as a culture are pretty sedentary. We sit at computers for work or school. Then we sit and binge Netflix at home.

Maybe we’ll go for a walk or head to our favorite local yoga class. Afterward we feel sooo good! We should do that more often! But it’s hard to get into the habit.

And even when we get into the habit, if we get sick or busy and get out of the habit, it can feel like a monumentally huge task to get started again.

I totally get it! I completely let my daily movement practice fall by the wayside over the holiday season.

I tried to force it. I know better. I should be doing yoga everyday.

You probably already know this too, but Should-ing yourself does NOT work!

So I went back to basics. I know I feel better when I move more.

It makes me feel free. And freedom is one of the things I value most in my life.

So when I don’t feel like doing anything, curled up on my couch, hibernating (which feels great and cozy in the moment, but doesn’t make me feel great in the long run), I started asking, what is one thing I can do today that will make me feel more free? And then I did it.

And it felt so amazing! I felt so free and open to possibilities.

And I keep doing it everyday. All it takes is one small thing.

I’d love to know, do you have a daily movement practice? If not, what’s got you stuck? (Responses will only be seen by Karyn and will NOT be posted publicly):

Resolutions and Creating Sustainable Change

ButterflyMany look at the New Year as a chance at a clean slate. We make resolutions to eat healthier, lose weight, go to the gym 6 days a week. We start off with tons of enthusiasm. This time everything is going to be different! Better! It’s our year!

We set our alarm clocks and get up early. Make a healthy breakfast and head to the gym every day. Our initial enthusiasm carries us for a bit, maybe a few weeks.

Then things start to get harder.

We try to grit our way through for a bit. But that’s exhausting. So we give up.

We failed.

Again.

When we start to feel this resistance to change in our bodies, it doesn’t mean we failed. Our bodies strive toward homeostasis, toward the familiar. Resistance to big change is wired into our cells.

Real change happens when we understand how to feel this resistance and realize we haven’t failed. Learn to celebrate it. New neural pathways are being created in our brains. And that’s how lasting change happens.

What if instead of willing yourself to make change, you learned to listen to and work with your body? What if you re-framed resistance and frustration as the first step toward success instead of failure?

With typical New Years Resolutions we’re often aiming to “fix” all of the things our minds tell us we are lacking. If we eat better or meditate more or lose weight, for example, we will be good enough. We are trying to think our way into change, often based on other people’s expectations or something we read in a magazine. We think we need to hustle and work harder and fix something that is wrong with us to reach our goals.

What if you didn’t need fixed?

What if instead of trying to obtain something outside of yourself (that you might not even really want anyway) you started by creating the feeling of achieving the goal?

Say you want to lose weight 10 pounds. It’s not really about the 10 pounds. When we are trying to achieve a goal, we are chasing a feeling.  How will you feel when you lose that weight? You might find you have more energy. What’s a way you can feel more energized now? Listening to your favorite song and having a mini dance party might make you feel like you have more energy.

You can take one small action everyday action to cultivate that feeling in your life. Then you might actually achieve and sustain that change you want. More energy. More freedom. Actually being present with your family instead of worrying about all of the things on your to-do list.

New Year’s Resolutions can get a bad rap. By the end of January we hear all about how most people have “failed” to keep them. There’s a better way to create change than resolving to do something and gritting out way through it.

I’d love to know, did you set a Resolution this year? How’s it going? (Responses will only be seen by Karyn and will NOT be posted publicly):