In honor of our course about Self-Care, I wanted to clear up some of my own beliefs about what self-care is and release some of the “shoulds” from the self-care police in my head.
That voice in my head can be pretty cruel sometimes. It often tells me how I said something wrong or stupid, or how I could have done so much better if I would have just tried. It also tells me that self-care is selfish, or that I’m doing it wrong so it doesn’t count.
When I think about self-care, my thoughts go straight to salon treatments. I can probably count on both my hands the number of times I have been to a salon in my life. Actually, one hand might be enough. I NEVER allow myself to spend money on myself unless I think I am getting a super-fantastic deal, or if I am buying products to do it myself. I am all about the DIY. But I have a lot of guilt about not allowing myself to go to a professional to help care for my hair, and how much money I have spent on the expensive products or for buying cheap products that just don’t work. Money down the drain = stress = the opposite of self-care.
(Lots of judgments there, I know. I’m just laying them all out on the table.)
There are 2 parts of this I want to break down. They are both beliefs that aren’t doing me any good and the voice in my head uses them both to make me feel like a big ol’ pile of poo when I want to take care of myself.
Belief #1: If I spend unnecessary money on myself then I am selfish and it takes away from what my family could have.
Belief #2: If I don’t spend money on myself then I don’t care about my body, and I don’t care about my mental and emotional state enough to take care of myself.
BOTH of these beliefs are based in fear and take away from the real reason for self-care (and they are both rooted in my beliefs about money.)
I thought it would be fun and enlightening to break these beliefs down right here on the blog!! Here we go!!
BELIEF #1: If you spend money on self-care and beauty then you are selfish and taking money away from more important things.
(Process: Yes, I believe it is selfish to spend $50+ to get my hair cut, and the only salons I trust with my 3A Curly Pixie hair that is super thick and hard to manage cost at least $50. If I’m going to trust a salon, they need to be able to handle my difficult hair case. This means that I don’t trust salons and I think they are too expensive, and that leads me to the underlying belief that I have to do things myself because people can’t be trusted. (No wonder I always end up cutting my own hair!!!) So now I can feel that belief in my body. It feels like anger and heat in my heart. I can feel it in my body as I see visions in my mind of me as a little girl getting made fun of for having poofy mushroom-shaped hair. My mom, the hairstylist, never knew what to do with my hair and often gave me embarrassing haircuts and styles because she couldn’t work with it. Even for my first Homecoming dance, she did my hair and it ended up looking atrocious. I’m crying now because I can see where this belief is coming from. I feel myself start to loosen up and feel forgiveness for my mom, and for little me that also didn’t know how to work with my hair. Now I am realizing there is a whole community out there designed to work with my hair type and I’m sure even people on my friends list would be able to give me some direction to a good stylist that doesn’t charge too much. (money story is trying to sneak in here again.) As the emotions are settling I can feel more expansion and my belief is shifting.)
NEW TRUTH #1: It feels good to support stylists with my money as they support me in taking care of my beautiful hair! Taking care of my hair makes me feel happy because I am valuing my body! It is also ok for me to cut my own hair if I want to, but I don’t have to. There will always be enough money for my body and hair to be taken care of. When I care for myself, with or without help, it allows me to be more present and help take care of others.
Coach notes: This can be applied to many different types of care than involve hiring someone to help you or buying products that aren’t necessary for your survival. Look for a feeling of balance in your body as you make these choices about self-care. You are never “bad” or “wrong” for taking care of yourself, and you are also not “better” than someone else because you spend more time or money on your beauty routines and products. Find a happy balance that feels good to you and allow yourself to indulge in what makes you happy! Have a little conversation with your body and see what it is asking for. Sometimes it is more than just the haircut, or the lipstick, or the massage that it wants. Sometimes it is looking for human touch, conversation, expertise, etc.
BELIEF #2: If I don’t spend money on myself then I don’t care about my body, and I don’t care about my mental and emotional state enough to take care of myself.
(Process: Ugh. This one is hard. This one says “If you don’t spend any money on yourself then you are a SLOB and you are just going to be an ugly old prune with back issues and depression.” That one hurts. I’m going to feel this one in my body. This one makes my head feel fuzzy and my heart ache. Ok. I sat with that feeling until it shifted and my mind brought up that I get an opportunity to teach women in my area in a couple of weeks about inner beauty and outer beauty and I have decided to do an exercise to help them to embrace their perceived imperfections like wrinkles and gray hairs. I am realizing that I don’t find value in most high-priced products and services because I don’t trust the beauty industry to create products that really work. I trust natural products and they tend to have much lower price points. I use coconut oil, and shea butter, and lavender and tea tree essential oils, etc. The price does not always reflect the value and effectiveness of the product or service. I find joy in being frugal and innovative. The amount of money I spend or don’t spend on myself is not an indicator of my worth.)
NEW TRUTH #2: It’s ok to think outside the box and find self-care solutions that are frugal and innovative. Caring for my body is about listening to my body and not about the price of products and services I use. Someone who uses homemade hair shampoo or dollar store shampoo is just as worthy and enough as someone who spends $100 on a bottle of shampoo. What we spend on self-care is also not a measure of how well it works!
Coach Notes: I realize that there are SO MANY other ways to experience self-care than products and salon/spa services. I want to do another post about the possibilities! It is most important to listen to your body, mind, and spirit and feed them the way you feel would care for them best. This can be anything from sitting and reading a library book, to taking an island vacation, and everything in-between. What works for me as self-care won’t often work for you, so NEVER JUDGE YOUR SELF-CARE BY SOMEONE ELSE’S STANDARDS.
I pray that you will find some ways to indulge in a little self-care this month. Paint your toenails, eat some yummy food, hire a babysitter, meditate, go for a walk in the sunshine….. Find what feels good to you!
We are like ogres….er… I mean… We are like onions. We have layers. I have more layers of beliefs and trauma around self-care that I will continue to work through, but I am willing to put the work in and learn, because I’m worth it, and SO ARE YOU!
If you want to dive a little deeper into learning about self-care and self-compassion, join the course! It’s called Fill Your Bucket, and it will help you to let go of guilt around self-care and help you discover what really fills your bucket!