Take a deep breath…and now another….and another…another. Now, tell yourself how you really feel.
It may surprise you. Too often, we have a lot of external markers of being a “good person”, a good wife, a good business partner, a good…whatever. There’s a lot of expectations that we take on and try to accommodate and negotiate. It’s painful when those expectations are in conflict with each. How often, though, do we acknowledge when those expectations are in conflict with what we really want or need? We make a lot of dirty bargain to get ahead, to get closer and those pile up, until the weight of our decisions, a pattern or self-neglect and self-abuse, becomes habit.
Does life feel dry? Does it feel like things aren’t moving, no matter how hard and consistently you push? The problem may be YOU, but not that you’re inherently flawed or unworthy or unequipped. The problem may be that you’re repeating effort just to repeat effort and get your gold star for the day.
If life is feeling dry, ask yourself when was the last time you did a little self care, whatever that is for you. So many of us are excellent caregivers, good friends, listeners, helpers, and we fail ourselves in the self care department. It’s time to turn some attention back on you.
The notion of “self care” has become very Instagram-able. Self care, though, doesn’t have to be expensive, hedonistic, excessive or even complicated. If the idea of self-care stresses you out, that’s not self care. Can you get a few moments with yourself today, where someone is not asking you for something? Would listening to your favorite music as you work be a viable option for you?
Self care is a great idea; it’s a necessary idea. As ideas popularize, we are asked to “buy into” them. If money is a stressor, you don’t have to buy your self care. In fact, you should try not to. Spend a few minutes identifying areas of your life where you don’t feel whole or nurtured or perhaps you feel frantic and unsettled. That’s where you probably need self care the most. Then, find the smallest ways possible to bring some care of yourself to those areas. Start small.
Sometimes, we discount the smallest, simplest solutions because they seem too easy or not big enough to be consequential. Experiment, even if it seems silly. At least with silly experiments you might get a good laugh. Keep your self-care simple, actionable and look forward to your discoveries.
Follow Actress & Producer Kristin West on her adventures, whether on a movie set, at a film festival or on her travels.