We drive up to the trailhead, it is our first-time guiding people through a track. As part of the experience we have to give a briefing to our clients telling them expectations, what to do if they get lost, how to handle relieving themselves in the woods, and a few other details about the track. It is my turn to run the brief. A moment I felt I was prepared for, I fumble my way through it, missing some critical information along the way. My head is just not in the game, I am messing up on things I KNOW I CAN PERFORM with ease. As the day progresses, I do alright but my body is talking to me, I had been fighting a stomach issue for over a week and it was basically screaming to me “LUCAS, do something about me, I am going to continue to hurt you until you do something!!!”. There were some additional things going on internally as well, I was dealing with some family medical stuff and my bum shoulder was still causing issues. It took all of these things for me to finally realize wow, I need to actually listen to my body and do some self-care. What does self-care look like? I always felt that self-care was for the weak, only the people who don’t have their shit together. . . . I am here to say I couldn’t be more bull-headed with those thoughts!
Why is self-care important?
- It allows you to manage stress
- Keeps your energy levels in check, low self care drains your body of energy
- You can give more to other's when you are good yourself
- Committing to yourself builds self trust and self confidence as you follow through on your plans
I have most often taken a half-hearted approach to taking care of myself. I sometimes do things that get me back on track but usually accompany it with something that maybe isn’t so caring. I would ride my bike to a beautiful spot whilst living in Germany, bring my book, just chill and then I would bring out an unhealthy snack that I know would make me feel not so good later. . . .in the chunk of self-help I am also self-sabotaging at the same time. That is what I mean about a half-hearted approach.
After a lot of convincing from my Pure Ex team I finally decided to take this stomach issue a little more seriously. This time, I was going to give it a full-hearted approach, no matter how much I didn’t want to do it. I took an entire day and devoted to the step 1 of getting myself back on track. This included speaking with my coach to work on the emotional aspect of things, I went to the doc to get my shoulder scanned, followed up with another doc to get my stomach checked out. PHEW! What a day, I thought I was done. . .FALSE. I decided on that day that I needed to commit to my self-care EVERY SINGLE DAY, even if it is just the small things. Plus, I had to do a lovely stool sample for the doc (talk about uncomfortable, living in a house with 10 people and storing a bottle of poop in the community fridge for a night. . . need I say more?)
What is the point of this TMI (too much information)? Remember that none of us are above self-care. If you decide to not address things, your body WILL catch up with you. . . eventually. What the heck does self-care look like? I am not sure about the answer myself, I do know that I am most successful when I actually pay attention to what I want and need. It is easy to get wrapped up in what the world tells us about self-care, do XYZ. . . I am not sure about you, but that gives me info overload and then I end up doing nothing about it and saving “that problem” for another day. . which we all know will never come. The idea I keep coming back to is, no one knows you better than yourself, follow your instinct and do what you know you need to do. We are all more capable beings than we think.
Some things I am working on as part of my exploration into self-care is, I KNOW from that knowing place that knows when my self-confidence is down everything else goes with it. I go back and reference a confidence manuscript. There are many key elements to confidence, I need to remember the times when I have accomplished a goal, what I am working toward now to get myself to my next goal, who has my back and at the core of everything my core beliefs. Having gone through my ups and downs in life, these fundamentals do get me back where I want to be. Wish me luck as I navigate my own authentic self-care!
Self-care is a VERY important thing to stay on top of this (unless you want to have the pleasure in getting a stool sample from yourself).
You know yourself better, figure out what self-care means to you, and commit to yourself
If you need help navigating the sometimes turbulent path of self- confidence, call me.
My test results came back all clear which was VERY hard to swallow, but it did put myself and my concerned friends at ease knowing that it was just a stomach bug that stayed around for 2 weeks. My shoulder results came back saying structurally my shoulder is stable, there is some intense swelling in the joint that causes significant pain when using it certain ways.