The Real Reason Your Self Care is Failing You


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.


Celebrate Sleep Awareness Week

Sometimes getting a full night’s sleep seems impossible to achieve. No matter the cause – stress, pain, your work schedule, or another reason – if you are not receiving regular quality sleep it can interfere with your health. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says “Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions – such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression – which threaten our nation’s health.”

Sleep Awareness Week (March 6-13) gives us an opportunity to leave insufficient sleep behind and get back to the quality sleep that is so vital to our health and wellness. Here are a few ways you can start getting on track to better sleep habits.

Say adios to technology – well before bedtime.

technology and sleep

Smartphones are everywhere and it’s not uncommon to find them creeping into your bedroom. Turn them off. Better than that. Turn them off and keep them in another room. Nix the TV, iPad, laptop, and whatever else has found its way into your resting space. Break the habit and allow yourself to relax on a deep level.  

Establish a routine that is calming and relaxing.

tea time bed timeHumans are habitual creatures. How you wrap up your day can greatly impact the quality of sleep you receive. Finish the day with warm bath or shower, a cup of tea, cool the temperature in your room, and shut out the lights. Establishing a routine can triggers a natural response that tells the body “it’s time for bed.”

Massage. Massage. Massage.

sleep and massageNot surprising, if you’ve been following this blog. Massage is HUGE when it comes to improving your sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have found massage to be beneficial for insomnia-related stress, as well as:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)

Massage can not only increase relaxation and lower your fatigue, but it can reduce pain and improve your quality of sleep. Which can also help restore your sleep pattern. With our schedules getting busier and our use of technology increasing, the need for sleep has become more important than ever. Massage is a great way to fulfill that need. In effort to celebrate Sleep Awareness Week, schedule a massage and be on your way to a better night’s sleep.

Trouble Sleeping?

Can't sleep?
Can’t sleep?

Difficulty sleeping is a common problem, so I’ve compiled a list of some things that may help. Here are a few strategies to try.


Gentle or Restorative practices focused on slow movements and deep breathing may be just thing to calm your mind and ease your body into a night of restful sleep. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) and Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose) are two of my favorite Restorative Yoga poses.

Resources: Check out the Yin Yoga and Restorative classes at The Living Yoga Center in Champaign.


Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, the Swiss Army Knife of Essential Oils, may be just what you need. Traditionally used to calm and soothe, research suggests that lavender has sedative properties.


Try this Sleepy Sleep Skin Stick* loaded with lavender and shea butter.

Or make your own blend. This is one of my favorites.

  • Fill a small 1 ounce spray bottle with water and add the following:
  • 6 drops- Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia 
  • 4 drops- Bergamot, Citrus bergamia 
  • 5 drops- Synergy of Sandalwood, Santalum paniculatum and Orange, Citrus sinesis.
  • Shake well and spray on your pillow. Store in a cool, dry place. Do not ingest.

I get my essential oils from Aromatics International**.

Massage Therapy

Yep. Massage may help you sleep better. Why not combine massage and aromatherapy? Schedule your next massage today and be sure to select “Massage with Custom Aromatherapy.”

Still having trouble?

Talk to your doctor.  They will be able to discuss what treatment options are best for you. Already have talked to your doctor, but still can’t sleep? Talk to your doctor. Seriously, follow up with them. Sleep is important.

*I’m an Independent Consultant for this company. If you purchase through this link, I earn a commission.

**I get most of my essential oils from Aromatics International. They’re great. If you purchase using this link, we’ll both earn $10 in credit.