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Helping yourself, Life Tips

The scary wake-up call I had that made me realise I was practising self-care all wrong!!!!

Nearly two years ago now I wrote a blog post about the self-care craze and how important it is to ensure we take time for ourselves to ‘tap out’ of being online all the time and to take time for ourselves to reflect, unwind and switch off. I still believe in all the tips in that article and they have certainly served their purpose for me (check the blog post out here), however, I’ve also realised this……

“I’VE BEEN DOING SELF-CARE ALL WRONG AT ITS VERY CORE!!!!”

At its very basic level, self-care is about, just that – caring for ourselves.  Yet, after having a pretty scary wake-up call recently I have realised that NO amount of smoothies, meditation or walks along the beach, will save me from not taking care of myself at the very base level.  

What do I mean by this? I mean, sticking to health appointments, following up on concerns you might have and not falling into the trap of saying “I am too busy”, because what we are really saying is “my health isn’t a priority”. And it is easy to take it for granted, particularly if you have had a really good run health wise. It’s easy to assume you’ll always be like that and therefore not stay on top of the things that you should – e.g Drs appointments, annual check-ups, skin checks, etc.

You might be reading this going “yeah, no worries, I take my health seriously!”. Yep, I was saying that too. And it was all good and well, until I got hit with the truth bomb that I did saying I’ve got skin cancer in the form of melanoma. Boom. Just like that. I also knew pretty quickly that it had gotten to the stage that it did because I ignored it. Ignorantly had put other priorities first.  Ignorantly thought I had more important things to do.

Now, that really isn’t self-care at all, is it? But I also get that it is so easy to fall into this trap like I did and think “nothing like this will happen to me”. Or, “I’m fine, I don’t have time for this”. Yet, somehow, we will still manage to make time for things not important and so not related to self-care, or to our health. None of the Instagram scrolling, the TV watching, or Netflixing really matters in the long run. We will never wish we did more of that.

And to be really honest, my first thought when I was told that the mole I had on my leg was cancerous, was GUILT. This was MY fault.  I let it get this far. I knew deep down I needed to make an appointment ages ago, but I kept letting “busy” get in the way of important. I kept letting work take priority. Or, I’d keep making excuses to myself, like having meetings I couldn’t move, or projects I needed to do as an excuse. I don’t write this to be a martyr, and I definitely do not write it to rag on my workplace as it would have to be the most genuinely supportive place I have ever worked. I write it because I know I am not alone. I know there are others who would be using their “busyness” as an excuse.  Their full diaries as a reason not to go to an appointment. I now have only one response for this…. STOP IT. We need to take accountability for ourselves and our health.

Why? Because your health needs to be number one, always. It must come first. It is the ultimate form of self-care and if you can make time to blend your morning smoothie, walk along the beach, do a yoga class, or scroll your Instagram feed, then you can 100% make time for your self-care at its very base level.

This blog has always prided itself on being honest, vulnerable and cutting through the crap. Part of that means me being completely honest with you all when sh*t gets a bit real in my own life. If even one person goes and makes a skin check appointment out of this blog, I’ll have achieved my goal.

If you’ve found yourself stuck in your own way – NOW is the time to get out of it. I can help you. Just ask me how. That is the first step.

Much Love,

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way! 
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au
www.claireseeber.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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I used to laugh when people would tell me that they were having some “self-care” time, or dedicating a day in their weekend to “self-care” . I didn’t understand it, or think I had the time for something as hippy-vibing as that.  Then I became aware of the impact of not having this time as something you consciously include in your life.

Self care is essentially described as any activity that you do voluntarily which helps you maintain your physical, mental or emotional health. It can help you feel healthy, relaxed, and ready to take on your work and responsibilities (reachout.com). 

In a world where saying “I am so busy” is viewed as a status symbol, and where technology has literally taken over every aspect of our lives, we are more ‘wired-in’ than ever.  Consequently, we are more susceptible to stress, anxiety, mental health issues and burnout than ever before.

What do you do to take time out, or unwind?  Does it involve technology?  Perhaps scrolling your phone and checking Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the like?  I caught myself doing this the other night and smacked myself out of it. I had just gotten home from work, had had a big day and was exhausted. What did I decide to do to relax?  Check my Facebook, scroll my Insta-feed, Linkedin, Twitter and every other bloody social media app I had on my phone. I wasn’t relaxing at all – I was just wiring myself up in a different part of my life.

 

We have become so reliant on technology that we no longer understand what it is like to just be with our own thoughts, or our own company. We do it for 5 minutes and it feels weird, or we get “bored”, so we reach for our phones!  I dare you to check yourself. Watch how many times you reach for your phone when you are somewhere on your own, or you have a moment to sit and chill. Even when you are walking down the street, or waiting at a cafe for a mate. Heaven forbid you just sat there in your own glory and enjoyed your surroundings! Let me know how many times you instinctively just reach for your phone instead of taking in what and who is around you! P.s I caught myself doing it heaps initially!

Providing myself time for self-care is a conscious decision I have made to help myself stay focused, relaxed and mentally resilient. Is it tough to stick to sometimes? Absolutely! But the difference that you feel in your own mind when you do take the time versus when you don’t is worth it’s weight in gold!  Check out the steps below that I have taken. I would love if you jumped on the journey with me!

 

1. Outsource the things you don’t like – Hate ironing (I do!!)? Find someone who can do this for you! Find yourself using your well-deserved weekends to clean your house, or do the chores you actually hate and that make you resent your well earned weekend!?. Outsource! Work out the dollar cost of your time (you can do this by working out what your hourly rate is from your salary, or find the average if you earn a weekly wage), if the task you hate doing is equal to or less than the dollar cost of your time, then that is a no brainer!

 

2. Treat yo-self and feel good about it! Decide on something that you really enjoy treating yourself to. It might be a massage, or getting your nails done. Having the time to read a book, or getting a facial. Meditation, yoga, or a walk along the beach. Whatever it might be, decide to treat yourself to this once a month and stick to it! You will look forward to it and it will be something you do just for you.

 

3.  Remove distractions – You don’t need to check your phone every 5 minutes. Put your phone in another room when you are taking some time out so that you remove temptation to check it. Note: This will feel weird to start with, but I promise you, you WILL be ok!

 

4. Get up earlier in the morning– I used to have a real beef with this one and I often struggle to get up in the morning, unless it is to meet someone else, usually about something FOR someone else! I used to put pressure on myself for not being like those “really successful people” who get up at 5am every morning and are super effective.  Now I look at this differently.  It is about getting up earlier than whatever time YOU usually do.  If you usually get up at 7.30am, then try and get up at 6.30am.  That gives you 1 hour every day just to focus on YOU before you even consider starting your work tasks! What a bloody great way to start the day knowing that the full first hour has just been about you.

 

5. Have your own ritual that you love and feel good about – then stick to it! We wouldn’t stand someone else up, yet we are often happy to do this to ourselves! Work out what your perfect morning would look like and then try to do this atleast once or twice a week! Maybe it is getting up and going for a walk, then making a fresh smoothie before work. Having the time to grab a coffee on your way to work and read the paper, or listening to a good audio book on the car/train/bus etc.  Whatever it is for you – work it out and then commit to it.

 

Self-Care is so important to ensuring that you are keeping your mind clear and functioning, instead of hazy and exhausted. Too often we are so focussed on meeting the needs of everyone else that we forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. Self-care habits don’t have to be big, they can be small things each day that you consciously do, just for you.

 

I am always looking for new ways to make sure that I keep caring for myself – if you have any tips that you use, I would love to hear them and try them myself! Email me at youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com.au , comment below, or post on our Instagram page.

Much Love!

Claire xxx
Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way! 

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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Are you a bullshit artist? Do you say you’ll do something and never actually do it? You are not alone.  92% of people make commitments and then never follow through on them, according to the University of Scranton. Let’s consider New Year’s Resolutions as just one example. How many times have you kicked off your year saying you’re going to be the best version of yourself? Or, you are going to lose weight, go to the gym 3 times a week, eat healthier etc etc. The list goes on!

We are great at making these big, bold commitments of how we are going to change our lives, but very few of us actually follow through on the hard yards it takes to make these commitments come to fruition and achieve our goals. We make excuses. “I’m just so busy with work”, “I have other priorities”, “my alarm didn’t go off” (what, 3 times a week?!) etc.

Making the commitment is easy, but talk is cheap, and quite frankly, a waste of your time if you aren’t going to follow through.

I used to make losing weight and getting fit my New Year’s Resolution every single year.  Do you know what that allowed me to do? It allowed me to wait to kick off a new year before I re-made the exact same commitment. It gave me a scapegoat.  “Oh, well it’s November now, so I may as well just live large and enjoy the next 2 months, and then I’ll really knuckle down and commit on the 1st January – New year, new me”. BUUUUUUULLLLLLLLSHIT!

 

It get’s us nowhere. All it does is give you permission to prolong your goals. If you really want to make a difference to your life, in whatever way is important to you, don’t start Monday.  Don’t start 1st January. Start now!

There are 5 things that I consider the most important when making a commitment to yourself to change, and I am happy to share them with you:

Make your commitments clear and achievable. Set yourself up for success. Don’t make a commitment to yourself to lose 5 kilos in a month if you know deep down that isn’t going to be achievable for you. You will wind up disappointed, demotivated, and reluctant to make further commitment because you will use the excuse of it not working as the reason to not commit. Also, make sure your goals are clear. “Getting fit and healthy” is fluff. What does that actually mean for YOU. What does that look like? What does it feel like for you? Be specific.

Break your goals down into smaller chunks – it won’t feel so daunting this way. Big Goals are great. Think of the amazing accomplishment you’ll have achieved when you succeed. But, they can seem daunting when you first start. Break the bigger goal down into smaller chunks. If your goal is to run a half marathon in 6 months but you know you currently cannot run 2 kilometres without wanting to run into oncoming traffic, then start smaller.  Look to run 5kms in your first week, then 6kms in the second. Build up to your goal and set yourself milestones along the way so it doesn’t seem so daunting.

Check yourself – are you making these commitments for you, or because you think you have to? Reflect on your goals and why you are making them. If you are making them because you think you must, or to please someone else, you aren’t going to follow through in most circumstances.

Ask someone to hold you accountable. Give someone permission to call you out on your B*llsh*t if you start to slip up. Find a yoga partner.  Ask someone to call you to check you have gone to the gym when you said you would. Ask someone to proof-read your work on a certain date so that you have to have it done by then. And give them permission to ensure you do.

Reward yourself along the way! Celebrate the small milestones along the way as they will keep you motivated for the big prize at the end! Achieved your 5kms run – celebrate! Lose 3 kilos out of the 5 you intend to lose. Celebrate! Complete the first half of a project you have been working on – yaaaaaaaay. Go and treat yo-self!

These might sound obvious, and they kind of are, but the number of us who don’t follow these simple steps are probably the same percentage I mentioned above who don’t follow through on their commitments. Don’t be that person.  YOU can have your cake and eat it too if you really want to!

 

Much Love Peeps,

Claire xxxx
Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way! 

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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