Last time I wrote to you I shared how I had been letting my self-care slip like it was my job to be mean to myself. Since then I’ve been paying close attention to my needs - resting when I need to rest, prioritizing time to write and create with the SheHive’s NaNoWriMo group and taking off my LadyBoss hat for at least one day a week.
Still, I’m always questioning if it’s enough. I feel better - grounded, happier and much less stressed - but I’m still not doing all those things I think I should be doing. What exactly is enough self-care?
I decided to ask an expert - Google. Behold, the behemoth list of everything approximately eleventy-billion self-help gurus on the interwebz list as essential to your daily health, happiness and success.
Every day I should be… waking up early, visualizing my day, setting intentions, setting three goals, spending five minutes repeating self-affirmations in a mirror, getting out in nature, walking 10,000 steps, drinking 64 ounces of water, taking vitamins, practicing 7 - 20 minutes of mindfulness, brushing my teeth three times for two minutes, flossing, pulling oil through my teeth for ten minutes, tracking my food, connecting with a loved one, expressing myself creatively, doing something that scares me, balancing my budget, purging my wardrobe so it is a carefully curated capsule of only my most cherished items, exfoliating, moisturizing, writing down three things I am grateful for, practicing a random act of kindness, reading, soaking in a salt bath, cleansing my aura, time blocking my calendar, having at least one perfect S-shaped bowel movement, putting on sunscreen, standing in superhero pose for two minutes, laughing, physically touching someone (but not in a Kevin Spacey/Harvey Weinstein-kinda way), making my bed, tidying up my home, tidying up my workspace, saving 10% of my income, eating vegetables, arranging my couch pillows, learning a new skill, appreciating my life, taking a power nap, drinking a glass of hot lemon water and cayenne, journaling, consuming 30 grams of protein, listening to a stimulating podcast, drinking green tea, drinking red wine, talking to someone I disagree with, sweating, juicing, grounding myself by walking barefoot, dancing to my favorite song, answering my text messages right away, meal planning, spending ten minutes staring into a mirror to identify one thing I like about myself, stretching, setting boundaries, learning from my failures, remaining positive, wearing my seat belt, eating breakfast and getting at least 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Luckily my dogs ate all my couch pillows years ago so the list is completely manageable on my end. Sorry about your luck though.
I calculated how long it would take anyone to complete this behemoth daily list of self-care shoulds. If you did it all, you would have approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes per day to work, commute, pee, fuck off for no good reason or care for anyone in your life other than yourself.
So, you know, totally doable. Right?
Nothing on that behemoth list above is bad for you, per say. Except, of course, potentially ALL OF IT if you’re too busy shaming yourself for what you haven’t done or for what you haven’t done enough of. Self-care is no longer caring if it makes you feel worse about yourself than you felt without it. It’s also not self-care if you are so overwhelmed by the whole of it that you are paralyzed and do none of it.
We can’t do it all. More than likely we can’t even do 10% of it all. But we can do 1% - one or two things daily - that make us feel a bit more grounded and cared for. The trick is to drown out what everyone else is telling us is important by listening to our intuition about what we really need. If you need help filtering through the noise (other people's shoulds),come on out to the SheHive - it’s kind of our jam.
I invite you to join me in committing to a self-care reality check this next week. What’s the one thing you’ll do for yourself next week to create a bit of respite and relief? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email. I’d love to read all about about your ONE commitment!
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
SheHive Founder & Leadership Coach