You're always fine

Cancel self-care Sunday

October 24, 2023 Even Health Season 1 Episode 15
You're always fine
Cancel self-care Sunday
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are your self-care practices genuinely serving you, or are they well-disguised self-indulgent behaviors? The journey of self-care involves more than a one-time grand gesture; it's about consistent small lifestyle habits - our promise to you in this episode. We delve deep into how effective time management is pivotal in self-care and how these incremental changes can significantly impact your well-being. Remember, it's not just about feeling good; it's about doing good for yourself.

Live group recommendation based on this episode:
Cabana Collective: Cancel Self-Care Sunday
Date: 10/25/23    Time: 11:30 am est.
Description:
Join us as we explore "self-care" — what it means, why it's essential, and how to practice it. Uncover how self-care is much more than just treating yourself. Register here If you just found our podcast, explore this month's live group schedule*These live groups are exclusive to Cabana members. If you would like to learn how you can become a Cabana member, you can visit our website

Cabana content recommendations based on this episode:

This week’s source notes:
APA definition of self-care https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2014/04/corner#:~:text=Self-care
What self-care is & what we think it is
https://www.verywellhealth.com/self-care-definition-and-examples-5212781
self-care verse self-indulgence
https://www.thoughtfull.world/mental-health/self-care-vs-self-indulgence#:~:text=Self-care

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Speaker 1:

Welcome back to You're Always Fine a space to show up for yourself and embrace the mess that lives underneath. Because, let's be real, it's exhausting always being fine. So grab your headphones and allow yourself to listen, laugh and even cry, because you are not alone. And we aren't always fine, and that's okay.

Speaker 2:

We are back with another episode of You're Always Fine. I'm your host, christine, and I'm Lauren. Today, we may ruffle a few feathers, because we are calling out one of the biggest misconceptions of mental health self-care. This conversation is whatever you do, if you ask me, so let's cut the small talk and get right into it. Ready, lauren?

Speaker 1:

Roger that.

Speaker 2:

Let's get started with the American Psychological Association's definition of self-care. Lauren, I sent that over to you. Can you read it for us?

Speaker 1:

So the APA defines self-care as quote providing adequate attention to one's own physical and psychological wellness. End quote, All right, Well, so after reading that, self-care seems pretty broad. Yeah, like okay, that could be anything right, but for me you know if I'm reflecting in words I have defined self-care as getting me centered in order to be the best version of myself and meet humanity with my humanity.

Speaker 2:

Wow, I felt like that was like very deep. Maybe I'm the only one who didn't like know this, but I recently, in my own therapy, learned that there's like eight areas of self-care and maybe I'm just alone because I'm over here just trying to get one self-care done, but apparently there's eight, and those areas are physical, emotional, environmental, spiritual, cognitive, intellectual and relational. Did you know that there were eight like domains to worry about?

Speaker 1:

No, I knew some of these just from teaching in Kambana. Like, honestly, I learned more than just like one or two that I thought were self-care because of the content that you put together, but I am not aware of environmental. What is that? What is environmental self-care?

Speaker 2:

Okay. So this one definitely threw me because I was like what do they want me to recycle? I just like went all over the place with it, but it actually does make a lot more sense. So environmental self-care is about, like, the spaces you occupy, so, for instance, your workspace or your nightstand. It's about making sure those spaces and how you interact with those spaces work for your needs, or what works for you, essentially. So I think that even applies to like digitally, like so much is done digitally, taking time to organize your desktop and stuff. So that's how they defined environmental, which makes a heck of a lot more sense, in my opinion, than my definition.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's less daunting than like. Are you recycling enough today?

Speaker 2:

The last thing I need? I'm probably not. Self-care has long been a buzzword associated with mental health and wellness. It often is the like go-to response when someone expresses discontentment. Like think about it, how many times have you felt like stress tapped out and you've told someone and you get the like well, you have to pour into your own cup or you need to take time for yourself? Like seriously, it really is like the most prescriptive thing. I think that people say, and the rise of self-care really started to go viral with, I think, social media and that whole wellness boom that we saw, you know, during COVID in recent years and I think in theory like that's great, we all need people talking more about mental health and prioritizing themselves and normalizing the struggle in general. But I'm just going to go on and say it we have lost our way when it comes to self-care and I think we've entered a dangerous delusion.

Speaker 1:

I can definitely see that. I mean, it seems like like, literally and figuratively, we've almost capitalized on self-care, like it's been made this like business. But I just want to clarify so are you saying that the value is lost on this recent boom? Because, like I would think, something has to be better than nothing, though, right, like if you're doing any self-care it's better than no self-care?

Speaker 2:

Okay, so to that point, yes, I would agree with that, but what I'm kind of found and where this is coming from for me is that a lot of the activities that we're considering self-care aren't self-care activities, right, like shopping, getting your nails done, vacationing, spa days. It's that treat yourself culture that I'm kind of speaking to, but we're doing it under the guise of self-care, and again, I agree with your last point. However, that's not really a self-care practice. Those are self-indulgent behaviors and most of the time they're avoidant behaviors and we use them for immediate pleasure or relief from whatever we're dealing with.

Speaker 1:

Mmm, that makes sense, Okay. So yeah, I've never really thought to separate those two because I thought they would just fall all like all fall onto the umbrella of self-care. Because I can see how in the past when I have treated myself to some retail therapy or a spa day, I did feel better. I mean, there's nothing wrong with getting a deep tissue massage and I love that. But I guess in reflection, yeah, it was short-lived, because as soon as that indulgence was over I still had the BS waiting for me. So I guess, to further clarify, so, if we're separating them, how would you know to tell the difference between a self-indulgent behavior, or when it's being self-indulgent, versus when it's a self-care behavior?

Speaker 2:

So, first off, I want to say that I am not saying at all there is anything wrong with self-indulgent behaviors. In balance, I, like you know. However, the key thing here is we're calling it self-care, and self-care is so much more than that, because self-care involves, like, the intentional actions and practices that promote overall well-being, and it's what, like nurtures our physical, mental and emotional health. On the other hand, those self-indulgent behaviors often are impulsive and excessive and they provide only temporary pleasure, but in the long run, they're either stalling what you have to address or they can become harmful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, christine, I'm still having a hard time seeing how my massage is going to be harmful. I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding, I see where you're going. So perhaps, instead of maybe running to a masseuse every time I feel tense, maybe massaging my mental to determine the areas of my life that might be neglected I yeah, I could see that I need to tweak some things. For sure that's interesting. Well, so, and then I guess, if I'm getting away from the massage example, like applying your definition for me of self-care would look like getting my gym time in journaling, making sure I'm spending time with loved ones, like that socialization setting and maintaining boundaries Like I've learned a lot about that this year, and that's like on the forefront of my self-care routine. It's a daily flex. I'm not going to lie. But this definitely is in contrast, now that I'm seeing it in a different light. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to lie. It's in contrast with those self-indulgent behaviors like using those frequently and not really getting to. Maybe the root of what I actually need to find my balance Is that kind of where you're going with it.

Speaker 2:

Exactly right If you think about it. The massage, if intentionally done and done for a way to maybe open up a space where you can feel like you can journal, that's a different intention than not setting up, like running to the masseuse to just get rid of the day's stress because you feel better and you can go home and cook dinner after that. Self-indulgent behaviors they provide immediate gratification, but that satisfaction is only short lived, while genuine self-care practices Most of the time, you're not going to have an instant pleasure related with them. However, what you're contributing to is your long-term well-being. That's not always sexy or fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, I know, because again it's just like okay. So I just had a thought that came to me before and I want to get that out of my brain first before I lose it. It brings that immediate gratification and self-care For me. I'm like self-care. I want to just unplug and unwind. I don't want to have to do more thinking about me or my issues, but I can see where you need to be more intentional so that you can gain a better benefit of practicing self-care.

Speaker 2:

That was just a random shower thought for a little bit, but literally break this down for a second. I think that's where, going back to my earlier point about why the boom of self-care to me is negative right now, is exactly that We've combined some me-time or self-indulgence with this idea of self-care. Wait, but self-care is these things that make me feel good? We've read the definition by the APA. That's not a part of this. Me-time is a part of self-care, as is things you enjoy, et cetera, but it's also a lot of hard work. It is, it's a practice, it's a tool for your mental well-being.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think there's a way to balance both, so long as there's mindful intention in performing self-care. That's what I'm hearing from you. If taking time to do your nails, gaming or shopping makes you feel really good, it can be considered a small fraction of self-care if done in conjunction with the hard work that is not instantly gratifying and that intentionality of what you're doing under the name of self-care. Yeah, I can see where you can find a balance between the two.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. I mean I'm not only guilty of self-indulgence, self-care mix-up, but also the self-care Sunday idea in which you're set apart a day that you are going to do all of your self-care things. My therapist canceled that real fast on me. It really had to understand that if you're constantly just pushing it off to this one day and you're going to do all these things one day, that's not sustainable and it's most likely not going to happen. I know, personally and professionally, I have gone through an awakening of sorts in terms of understanding true self-care. I've been guilty of overindulging and looking for an immediate emotional fix under the disguise or conviction of self-care. I earned it, treat yourself. I mean, let's be real. Immediate gratification of retail therapy will always look more appealing than the long-term investment of me taking out my journal and writing my feelings out facts. One of the things in my own therapy I've had to face when examining my self-care or lack thereof was self-worth and really coming to terms with the fact that I didn't feel worthy enough to invest in myself, which is hard to admit because I think we all want to believe that we love ourselves and we think that, but we don't talk about self-worth a lot. You have to get to the point where you feel worthy enough to take time for you, because the bottom line is self-care is self-love and action yeah.

Speaker 1:

Self-worth is a hard one for me, though, and, like I know, we tend to look externally for a lot of our validations and I guess, well, yeah, validations. So for me, I know I suffer from that Like. So, for example, going to the gym, it's one of my favorite forms of self-care and self-love, because I can practice both, and I do practice both when I'm there, but that's a small portion of my day, because so, when I go and I look in the mirror, I have some of the most positive thoughts about myself, because I think, like, damn girl, look how strong you are, look at those muscles. Like I get all excited, and especially like, if my weights increase, you know from the last week I'm like, oh, like they are building, like this is awesome. And then, depending on the workout, I also leave feeling mentally fortified or experiencing a catharsis, because you know again, if my workout is a little harder that day, just that release is so uplifting for me. But talking about immediate gratification and again, logically, I know that, like, miracles don't happen overnight, but like, sometimes, when I step on the scale and I don't see movement, or I see movement in the wrong way, and if I am weighing myself on, like a more stressful day or morning. I like I am way more susceptible to putting something in my body that counteracts that hard work and admiration, because I'm trying to soothe my stress or emotions through food and like that's a, that's an indulgent behavior. I'm not saying I like sit through a whole entire box of Oreos or like package or whatever, and as delicious as that sound. I know I'm like, as delicious as it sounds, because the pumpkin ones are coming out or all the like fall ones, and I'm about to visit the US and I'm like, oh, the land of Oreo options, like, but no, I can't, I can't do it. But I know I definitely need to flex those mental muscles when it comes to mindfulness and intention, especially when it comes to my, my physical practice with like working out, because I do see those results. I just don't see the results on the scale. So it's hard for me to be like, you know, like nothing's changing and it's the self-defeating, you know, mindset.

Speaker 2:

But I think that's exactly why there are those eight areas of self-care. So what I hear you saying is like you check off the box, maybe for physical self-care. However, what I think you maybe need to focus on then would be that emotional aspect of self-care and that's, you know, combating that, those thoughts and what is happening. That takes the act of going to the gym and, you know, in a different area and a different light, makes it negative, and so I think that's exactly like what the power of like a self-care practice where you actually know what areas you need to address becomes powerful. Okay, we have hit on two barriers to creating a practice of self-care and some misunderstandings of self-care and low self-worth. So now I want to pivot and address some of the barriers I think are the most common ones I see from my clients, my friends, my family, my wife and, let's be real, myself the notion of I don't have enough time or feeling guilty for any time that you take for yourself.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and I, you know, these last few years have really shown me, you know, money's nice, Don't get me wrong. Money can definitely make life easier, but time, I would argue, is such like a much more valuable commodity, and how I choose to spend my time has become way more of a, an intentful like practice I'm not perfect at it, but I've definitely become more aware of it and like making sure I set those boundaries for myself. But it wasn't always that easy, you know. So I get it like days can slip away from us, especially when we are stretched in many directions. So yeah, I mean I can see how intentionally finding time for yourself can slip away in those precious minutes.

Speaker 2:

And I'm about to do a hot take right here. So everybody lean in. Come for me in the comments if you must. But here's the thing you make time for what you want to make time for. Yeah, period and self-care is hard work. You have to be intentional, you have to prioritize it, you have to make the hard decisions every single day. You know, in order to do that, you need to have the self-commitment, awareness and accountability to ask yourself those difficult things. Picture it hard day at work physically, emotionally, mentally, all the things. Is self-care letting yourself watch one more episode and treating yourself to a brownie, or is it learning that you have to turn off Netflix and get to bed a little earlier because your body needs more time to recover?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I mean screen time. I used to have such a great bedtime routine but I let that slip because, yeah, screen time has definitely. I've done the doom scrolling. So, logically, turning off Netflix and starting my bedtime routine is better, but it is so hard to tune out and turn off, so that's you know. I need to undo the bad habit that I've created from myself at bedtime.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I actually, I think, wrote in our episode notes we do before each one that I wanted to do an episode on like morning and night routines and the importance of them, anyway. But mental health is a lifestyle and self-care is just one of those habits in creating that lifestyle, because genuine self-care often involves that consistent, constructive practice that contributes to the long-term balance contentment and health. You know it's investing in yourself in a sustainable way.

Speaker 1:

Totally. I mean, I can see that a lot more clearly now. So, like to sum it up, self-care is a habit, you know. Self-care doesn't have to be this huge change or big production, because I think you know, a series of small lifestyle habits or tweaks, consistently done, is probably going to have a bigger impact over saving just one day to focus on ourselves. Because, let's be real too, like you, save that Sunday, you know, or whatever, one day a week with, like, this is the only day I'm practicing self-care. So you want to suffer six other days and just go at life raw, Like? I don't think so. No, I think I really like that. We did this episode just finding time each day to practice, or at least start a new practice at better self-care, you know, but at the same time, change is difficult. So giving ourselves grace and patience at self-care, especially during certain periods of our lives, you know, during those times you might need an avoidance or distraction if you're not ready to handle what has been put on your plate or if you don't have the decision just yet that needs to be made, like, by all means, you know, put it off to the side to push through, but come back to it, and other times maybe you do need to tune into Netflix, you know, or mindless entertainment to maybe like brainstorm on a work thing you know, or respond to something that is a little urgent that's going on at work, you know. The key thought here, though, is having that awareness and that recognition, so that you can return to your baseline of a healthy balance.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, yes, a million times yes.

Speaker 1:

I'm already feeling the daunting feeling of like even tweaking a self-care plan practice, like I thought I had a pretty good idea, I thought I was pretty conscious. You know, each day like maybe not consistently at the same time, but throughout my day I'm like what am I doing for myself, am I? What can I do to find my balance? But today's chat, like is a reminder that we all have room for improvement and that's okay with me.

Speaker 2:

Yes, for sure. I mean, I was thinking this morning as I was finishing up our script and I had skipped my morning journaling time to get the bottom of the script out to you, and I was just like gosh, isn't this ironic? So I think to your point of just always improving. It's a lot of work to get your self-care practice into a maintenance mode. To help our listeners, we've gone ahead and linked some great tools into our show notes so that you can put some thought and work your way to a maintenance mode, because it's not going to happen overnight. But until you are there, here is an easy self-care tool you can start implementing today that will set you up for success as you build your plan, because you're going to need to do this so easy for today. But when you get that plan going, don't forget about this tool. So we're talking structured time. Essentially, what you want to do is take your calendar, digital or paper planner, and if you don't have one, you can print out one of our daily sheets that I also linked in the notes for you. And what you want to do to start is do a daily start time and a daily cutoff time. Think of it as your hours of operation or your hours to get shit done. Now, for me, my standard operating hours are from 7 am till 9 pm. Those are the hours in which I can do. So that means I get up at 5.30 to do my morning routine and I start my nightly routine at 9 pm. So to give you an idea of what you're planning and how you're breaking this down. So first you go ahead and you block time for all the responsibilities you have in that day, and when I say responsibilities, I'm talking about meetings, kids, games, doctors appointments, basically anything that is non-negotiable in terms of time. You can't move something from one to two. It doesn't have that flexibility. Be sure, when you are doing these, you are including transition times from one responsibility to the next or any travel time unneeded, because you don't want to overbook yourself during this structured time. For me, I get really detailed and I do like cooking dinner walk for their family, because I am victim or maybe I am guilty of overlocking, putting so much in my calendar without those transition times and then essentially beating myself up when 9 o'clock comes and I still have things that I could have never realistically gotten done. So I have made sure to like put a very detailed list. So if you're like me, the more detailed the better. Okay, from there, go ahead and put a block for all administrative slash, like mundane tasks. When I say administrative, I mean the admin of your life, the admin of your job. You want to do your emails. You're sending out calendar invites, calling the pharmacy, things that don't take a lot of mental energy or they don't take too long, but they're annoying as hell to get done during the day. So you want to make sure you have a block of time to do that. From there, you block out time for any must do tasks. So you go ahead, you take your to-do list and you decide, based on the time you have left, what are your must do tasks for today, and you put a block on the calendar for each of those must do tasks. And you do that must do tasks, like by projecting the time. So if you, I gave myself an hour to script a podcast, because I think it will probably take me an hour, so you want to make sure you're also rounding up again so you're not getting to the end of the day and feeling like gosh, I didn't get something done. Now the hard part you review the day and you put at least five minutes for self-care onto that schedule. If you don't see a clear five minutes to get that in, you have to go ahead and, in reverse order, adjust the plan so that you do so. That might mean first you look at okay, well, what of the must do tasks can I take off today and move to tomorrow? And if there's nothing there, you go up another level. How can I chip into my administrative or mundane task block? And the way structured time works, or why it's effective, is because you commit to ensuring that the only thing on this calendar that you cannot move is that five minute block. You have to have it every single day and once you block it into your schedule, it can't be moved. So this helps you hold yourself accountable and value the importance of you above all of the other things you're going to have during the day. I think, just to be clear too, with that, five minutes get crazy, please. I'd love to see maybe an hour broken up, but in the beginning it can seem hard. So just five minutes and then setting an intentional activity during those five minutes. You're going to see a world of different.

Speaker 1:

I like this idea of scheduling. I'm glad you mentioned that about being able to once it's consistent, you know seeing where you can squeeze more time into the day for you. Like it almost makes it like an incentive, you know, so that you can start small. Let's see, you know, how that can improve or impact your life, hopefully for the better. And it almost is like, oh yeah, how much more time can I give myself? Like I love that because it really puts you in that like self prioritization mindset and I think that's a beautiful thing, yeah, and it'll just, at the very least, make you examine your day and maybe even organize your day a little bit better to see where you can fit it in. So, yeah, I really like that idea of scheduling it.

Speaker 2:

Look, I want to be clear. There is no shortage of advice when it comes to self care, so I just want to leave you with this Take away the avoidance of self indulgence and remember that there is no right way to practice self care as long as you are committing to your own practice. If you enjoyed this episode, leave us a review. We absolutely love hearing from you guys. We'll be back next week with a brand new episode of You're Always Fun. Until then, mind your health. Seriously, you're fine. You're fine because you have the power to access your place of peace anytime you need it. However, if you get stuck or right at the palm of your hand to help check out our show notes for this week's source list, recommended content and cabana live group schedule, We'll catch you next week for a brand new episode of You're Always Fun.

Redefining Self-Care
Importance of Self-Care and Time Management
Fun Review and Future Episode