You might have noticed from my list of selfcare ideas that there are many ways to practice selfcare and some of those ways don’t sound relaxing! Going to the doctor or dentist may cause some anxiety with some people. Exercising may sound tiring, and talking to a therapist sounds expensive. So what’s the deal?
Selfcare isn’t just doing the pleasurable things in life. Taking care of ourselves includes doing the things we may not want to do like visiting the doctor for a mammogram or making yourself vulnerable as you talk with a therapist, confidante, or friend.
I love the parts of selfcare that’s pampering and enjoyable, like giving myself a manicure or watching a movie in the theater. I’m less inclined to visit the doctor, exercise, or take a technology break. But selfcare is taking care of your overall health. These things we don’t want to do but need to do is part of that. Some people coined it as adulting, but it’s basically being responsible for you.
The adulting side of selfcare is hard because they look more like tasks than downtime activities. We can look at them in that way, or we can remember that they contribute to our health in the short and long run.
Here are five tips on practicing the hard side of selfcare:
Schedule it. There’s something about writing thins in our schedules that helps us commit. Once it’s down on paper or phone, it becomes real. Schedule the hard things. Put them in your calendar. Set up reminders.
Ask questions. The less we understand something, the harder it gets. Ask questions and seek to understand. Why is this so hard for you? What is the process you will have to go through? Will it hurt? How will it help you? Are there other options that achieve the same result? For example, I hate running. I can’t run to exercise, but I love to dance and dancing is exercise, too.
Get the support of a friend. Does the dentist make you anxious? Ask a friend or loved one to go with you. Find a support system to make the process easier and, in some cases, more fun.
Reward yourself. Got through the hard part? Celebrate that victory and reward yourself with one of selfcare’s more pleasurable side. Eat a piece of chocolate. Do a victory dance. Take a nap.
Keep doing it. Don’t skip an appointment. Open up a little more. Keep running. The more you do it, the easier it will get. Soon, it will be part of your normal routine.
Don’t shy away from the hard side of selfcare. Just because we don’t want to do something doesn’t mean they’re not good for us. Medicine doesn’t taste very good, but it helps us heal. There’s a side of selfcare that’s hard, but contributes to our overall health.