We all fall into masterful avoidance when it comes to the more challenging acts of self care.
You know what I’m talking about. Scheduling the doctor’s appointment, paying the bills, establishing the boundaries… Hell, eating a vegetable or going for a walk even feels impossible at times.
But what if I told you there was a way to make these experiences more savory, and more doable?
Well, in today’s post we’re going to discuss why so much of self care feels burdensome, and go over a few tricks so we can take back our power and take good care of ourselves.
Welcome to the blogcast, Unlocking Wellness! I’m Crystal McLain, curator of Crystal McLain Creative, an online community dedicated to sharing empowering, creative care for the mind, body, and mother-lovin’ soul.
If you’d like to learn more about what I have to offer you can visit me at crystalmclaincreative.com. And if you enjoy the content I’m creating, and would like to support my work, you can join the The Dream Team at Patreon and score some sweet perks in return. Memberships start at just $3/month.
Alright. Let's get to it.
So, personally, I believe, avoidance all boils down to the fear of suffering.
Now, suffering may sound extreme. Like you might be thinking, ‘I’m not afraid I’m going to suffer, I just don’t want to do the thing.’ But behind the ‘not wanting to’ there’s a deeper feeling we don’t want to experience, be it inconvenience, challenge, discomfort, annoyance. Whatever unsavory feeling you might project having, the brain conceives this as a form of suffering.
And the brain does not want you to suffer. In fact, it’s actually designed to keep you comfortable.
Because comfort equals safety. And the primal bits of your brain can’t always tell the difference between real danger, and getting a mammogram.
Your conscious and aware brain understands your circumstances. It knows that you need to do the thing. But your subconscious, feeling brain knows that this thing is not going to be a good time. So the subconscious will bring up all sorts of semi-logical proof to convince you to procrastinate, avoid, or negotiate your way out of doing the thing.
But here’s here’s the kicker. While there may appear to be comfort in the avoidance of the thing, the longer we put it off, the more we increase our suffering.
And that’s because there’s this internal conflict between the reality of our circumstances and our deep-seated desire to feel safe ‘n cozy. And typically the longer we put off the less-appealing acts of self care, the more critical it becomes that we pay attention to what it is we’re avoiding.
Imagine, if you will, that you’re cooking something on the stove top and it catches fire. If you looked at that fire and thought, “ugh, I really don’t want to deal with this right now, I’ll get to it later,” your whole house is eventually going to burn down.
I’ll share a couple of my own personal experiences with The Dream Team at Patreon of times when I’ve let my proverbial house burn down.
Yes, I avoid self care, too.
Anyway, what we need to do is open a safe and supportive dialog between these two parts of the brain, instead of allowing the shouting match and manipulation to continue.
And this is how we do it…
Now, you didn’t think you were getting out of here without me mentioning the mindset, did you?
Of course not, because mindset is always the first step towards successfully achieving anything.
So, if you’ve got one of those unsavory self care deeds that needs tending to, you first have to trust that it’s not going to kill you. You have to believe that you’re capable of doing it, and that it’s actually WORTH DOING.
Which leads me to the next thing.
A lot of times we are painfully aware of our procrastination. But we don’t ever really ask ourselves why we’re procrastinating.
It’s important that we take a hard look at how much energy we’re investing in avoiding and worrying about the thing, verses if we just dealt with it. Getting to the root of why you avoid the things you do is really helpful.
And whatever your reasons for dodging your responsibilities, none of them make you a bad person. In fact, you are an excellent human specimen who’s only trying to keep themself safe.
You might just be a little mixed up with your priorities.
Which leads me to the third thing…
Believe it or not, doing your taxes, getting a colonoscopy, and stretching are not forms of punishment. But, we treat them like they are.
At the risk of sounding cheesy AF, every moment presents itself with a choice. And that choice is how we approach the moment.
We can go in full of dread and shitty expectations, complaining how this task is robbing us of our time. Or, we can put a positive spin on it.
It’s all about your intention.
Is the colonoscopy depriving you of eating solid foods, and inducing forced intake of toxic tasting liquids and perpetual diarrhea, only so you’ll have to endure an invasive anal probing? OR, are you being proactive and responsible for your the wellness of your gastrointestinal health?
There’s definitely a victim mentality with the first scenario, whereas the second leaves you feeling empowered.
Be careful of how you structure the narrative when you’re going into the more challenging acts of self care. Remind yourself of the purpose, and how you’ll benefit from your actions. Are you going to have fun, or will these tasks make you feel cozy? Mmm, probably not. But you will build important human skills like:
- Self Assurance
- Self Respect
And any time you invest in your health, wholeness or peace of mind is time very well spent.
Alright my friend. That’s it for today. If you’d to dive deeper into this topic, or would like my digital download, Practical Goal Setting And Taking Action for free, you can join The Dream Team.
I’ll leave links for everything in the show notes below.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you for being here.
And I will see you soon!
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