Self-care is NOT Selfish

Before you dive into these words, take a look at this image.

Look at the water, replenishing this beautiful, living, growing, life-giving plant.

Is the plant selfish for being watered?

I think not!

Selfish is a word that is loaded with a ton of shame, at least for me.  And that, in turn, can add stress to an already difficult time we are all facing during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Do any of these resonate for you?

  • You need to take care of everyone else first.
  • Get all your work done, and then, maybe you can play.
  • You’re not allowed to rest until you collapse in exhaustion or sickness.
  • Taking care of yourself first brings shame.
  • Saying no is selfish.
  • When you do try to do something for you, your family seeks you out like a fierce game of hide and seek!
  • When you manage to sneak away, even to the bathroom for a luxurious solitary pee, or even bath, you feel reenergized, yet slightly guilty.

Here’s the truth:

(aka what I’ve learned in all of my training, research, and the school of life!)

You’re no good to anyone if you’re exhausted, sick, fried, resentful. 

Repeat after me: I am not my best self when I play the martyr.

Your loved ones deserve your mentally and physically healthy, refreshed self, and if you don’t put your own oxygen mask on first, you’re heading down a slippery slope without a helmet! And then, who’s going to be the superhero in your family?

Trust me. I was trained to care for others first. From a very early age I felt it was my job to be sure others were happy and not in conflict.

It’s not served me well. Autoimmune illness, check. Crash and burn, check. Shame spirals that overcome me at times, check. 

At 55, I am learning that caring for me is not selfish, it’s essential. I hope you learn this sooner, and have some extra bonus years of joy!

What will you do today for YOU? 

It can be as simple as finding a quiet place to drink your coffee and savor the birdsong, waking gently before diving into your to-do list! 

It can be a short mindful breathing practice, or maybe even a loving kindness meditation!

It can be treating your body with some gentle stretching and movement.

It can be slathering on some beautiful fragrant (safer skin care of course!0 lotion

It can be baking something that makes the house smell like your favorite holiday. 

It’s really up to you!

Let me know your thoughts on this concept of self-care/selfish?  And let me know what you will commit to today, even if it’s something that takes under 5 minutes! 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

What is a Health Coach?

You might have thought of working with someone to help you make progress toward your goals, but wonder:

What actually is a health coach?

First, off, it’s easier to define what a health coach is not:

Advice giver: you’ve probably already got plenty of friends and family members willing to offer unsolicited advice on how to lose weight, decrease stress, exercise more, fill in the blank ___________.

Although a health coach can occasionally step out of the coaching role and serve as an educator, providing you with helpful, supportive resources on nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle, the main role of a coach is to:

  • listen intently to you and ask powerful, focused questions
  • help you determine what behavioral and lifestyle changes match the values you hold dear so that these changes match who you are and want to be

Maybe you want to be the “healthiest you” so that you live the longest life possible and can keep up with your sweet grandkids. (That’s my motivation right there!)

  • work with you to set meaningful goals that will enhance your life. With that, together you will break down those goals into habits that will ensure success.

Perhaps you set a goal to lose 15 lbs by April. What daily habits might be getting in your way? What new habits can replace them so that you are successful?

Coaches are trained in the science of habit formation and can work with you to ignite your motivation and help you plan steps to succeed!

  • hold you accountable

At the end of each session, you will have a plan to move forward and an agreement with your coach about how you will be accountable and what will support you in following through with your intended actions. This accountability is meant as a support, and if things don’t go as planned, this is a key insight to bring to your next session.

  • help you recognize and celebrate both small and big wins and encourage you through tough times

Though a coach is not a cheerleader, they will be a partner who helps you recognize your progress through reflection and conversation. Often times we are our own worst critics and need someone to help us see our small wins. We also need someone to support us when we don’t quite make it to the goal in the time we desired.

  • assist you in discovering how your strengths can facilitate your progress and overall wellbeing. When we are living our most vibrant, meaningful moments, our strengths are at work. Don’t know about strengths? Check out the VIA!

In summary, a coach goes on a beautiful journey with their client, facilitating discovery, awareness, and action. The client is the expert and is most definitely the most important voice in the conversation.

What questions do you have about health coaching?