Everyone’s busy, let’s just get that out of the way right now. Parents, college students, people with full time jobs. It doesn’t matter what you do with your life, you’re busy. Everyone gets it.
And yet, everyone can’t stop telling people how busy they are! We talk about it all the time on social media, that’s for damn sure. I am totally guilty of this myself, and I’m willing to admit it.
Why do we do this? This constant public display of all of our responsibilities? We tell each other how many hours we work, and brag about how we haven’t taken a day off in months.
This has got to stop! Think about it, we are literally bragging about killing ourselves. What if, instead, we talked about all of the healthy things we did for ourselves?
Below is a list of things we all need to commit to. I’ll try if you’ll promise to try too.
Put time into self-care.
Every day, do something for you. I’ve written so many posts about this, I’m not going to bore you. But do something for you, I don’t care what it is. Do something that is not for you, your spouse, your kids or anyone else. Just for you. That’s it.
Brag about it the way you’d brag about killing yourself.
Sorry, I lied, that’s not it. Here’s the second part, and it might be the hardest. The next time you see someone that you like to brag to (we all have those people) brag about taking care of yourself. Here, I’ll go first. I have gotten eight hours of sleep every night this week. I switched to a BB cream that has sunscreen. I scheduled a day off to just play with my kids. I made an eye appointment and I didn’t cancel it!
Don’t brag about killing yourself.
Once you get comfortable bragging about taking care of yourself, you can stop bragging about killing yourself.
Really, this is so bad for all of us. By bragging, and receiving positive feedback for unhealthy behaviors like working too much, we teach ourselves that this is a good place to be. We also teach others around us to be ashamed if they’re not working as hard. We make people judge themselves unfairly against us. We owe it to ourselves, and our friends, to stop that.
Focus on results, not hours worked.
That doesn’t mean that you don’t get to brag about your accomplishments. You do things that are amazing, and you should tell people. Just focus on the thing you did.
Let me give you an example. Instead of telling my friends, “I’ve been getting up at 6:00 every morning to publish a third book this year,” I would say, “Look, I’m publishing a third book this year!” See the difference? One is negative, and sounds like I resent the time my writing took. One is just happy. You see how that can impact your mindset?
Praise your friends.
I’m hoping this positive mindset spreads, but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s kind of scary to brag about self-care. It sounds way better to say, “I worked on a blog post during my lunch,” than, “I read Buzzfeed during my lunch.” It might make you apprehensive.
It might make other people apprehensive, too. So, if one of your friends tells you about some self-care activity they recently indulged in, like a good piece of dark chocolate or painting their toenails after dinner instead of jumping right into housework, praise them! Encourage them to do more, even make a friend date for self-care purposes.
Praise your kids.
And finally, this same principle should be instilled in our children.
I’m not going to lie, this is really freaking hard with kids! When it comes to my monsters, the problem is to get them motivated to get shit done, not getting them to take a freaking break. Especially now that they’re starting seventh grade, I’m spending a lot of time pushing them. That’s part of my job as their mom.
It’s also part of my job to get them to bed on time, and make their doctors’ appointments. It’s my job to make sure that they have healthy meals that make them feel good, and go out to play. It’s my job to see that they get time, every day, to play.
It’s also my job to instill in them the importance of this behavior. One day they’re going to go off and start living their own lives. I won’t be there to make them a cup of tea when they’ve got a pile of work. I won’t be there to send them to bed at a decent hour, or make sure that they’re eating right. I have to teach them now that they must do these things for themselves. The best way to do this is to make sure they see me doing it.
So what are you doing to take care of yourself this week? Let us know in the comments below, or blow up twitter with #selfcare.