In Part 1 we explored the underlying belief needed that you are worthy of, or deserve to receive, self-care.
Then in Part 2 we looked at how to spot that our resources are running out and need replenishing, and the tricky question of how to do that; in particular, what we would like to add in to our lives.
- I wonder how you’ve been getting on with that?
- Have you used any of the ideas from the table?
- Have you kept a journal?
Today we’re going to be taking a look at what might need removing.
Self-care also involves quite a lot of taking away. There will be things to let go of, and beliefs to drop.
A lot of our behaviours and beliefs are old – inherited from our families or created by our experiences, many of which happened a long time ago, and which we are far better resourced to deal with now than we were back then.
If you’ve been keeping a journal of self-care you may already be noticing a pattern of things that make life feel good, and things that don’t.
What might it be like to start eliminating some of the things that don’t make life feel good.
They might be objects, people, circumstances, behaviours or beliefs.
Here are some ideas:
- De-clutter your environment – this helps you to feel clearer and more positive, as well as more able to tackle things.
- Start saying no to things you don’t want to agree to, things that over-extend you, or fill you with dread, things that drain your energy, or simply bore you. When you begin to prune out in this way, your diary becomes clearer, your life slows down, you feel more peaceful and productive.
- Spend some time off-line. There is lots of emerging evidence of the negative effects on mood, self-esteem and focus when you spend a lot of time on social media. Experiment with having screen-free time scheduled in.
- Stop spending time with people who drain your energy, undermine, disempower or upset you.
- Take a good look at the way you use food and/or drink in place of healthy self-care. If you are ‘rewarding’ yourself with chocolate or alcohol, try replacing this with what you are really needing.
- Give up trying to control what you can’t. And hand-in-hand with this, give up the belief that you are responsible for anything other than yourself and your actions.
Give up believing you have to go it alone, and can’t ask for help.
SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change
COURAGE to change the things I can, and
WISDOM to know the difference.
Try saying this simple affirmation to yourself.
Some of these aspects of self-care are difficult to implement alone, and are probably embedded in past experiences and painful emotions. If you find yourself coming up against challenges that feel too big for you I would recommend working with a professional who can walk beside you as you make the journey.