Be ridiculously good to yourself.
Elizabeth Gilbert said something in an interview that stuck with me. In essence, she quoted her friend as telling her that the reason liz Gilbert attracted a husband that treated her so kindly was that she became so good at caring for herself that she could recognize when someone treated her equally well.
That stayed with me because I don’t think I care for myself as well as I should.
If we don’t care for ourselves, no one else will.
If we don’t let others know what we need, then we won’t get it. Period.
They’re not mind readers.
There’s no need to feel resentful of those we take care of or to feel tense when we hold back our true feelings. When I don’t deal with those resentments and tensions, I don’t inhale or exhale fully. Overall I feel unhealthy.
If I don’t take care of myself, then I snap at those I love, and they’re not going to want to be around me. I’m going to feel tense and resentful that I’m giving love, time, attention and focus away at the expense of myself.
Want to feel calm even in the middle of the most challenging situation?
Appreciated for all the good energy you put into the world caring for others and helping others?
Like there’s an abundance of time to take care of yourself?
I’m right there with you.
I’m in the midst of moving my parents from Southern to Northern California. It’s been 120 hours, and so far so good; no one has snapped at each other, but we’re all exhausted physically and mentally.
They’re living with me until they find a place. I love them dearly, but I feel like the last few days all I’ve done is field a thousand questions about navigating my home and my neighborhood.
And I’m a recovering People-Pleaser; I’m the kind of person who wants everyone to be happy and work to make them happy at my own expense.
Ever been in these shoes?
The trick is to be so good to yourself that you automatically create better relationships with others.
Carving out time for self-care prevents resentments from festering and consequently your entire being relaxes.
I’m working on creating boundaries including forcing myself to take care of myself. What that looks like for me is practicing yoga, taking time for my morning tea ritual, and telling them when I need quiet time at my computer.
I remind myself of this as I sit in my living room typing this out while they’re chatting in the background.
It’s a work in progress…
So how do you get started taking care of yourself better?
Here’re a few tricks to kick your People Pleaser Persona aside and create some freaking boundaries already.
1. Take a time out.
Take this time out whether you think you need it or not.
We don’t always recognize we need to take a time out, and when we do we’ve already bitten someone’s head off.
Are you tense? Holding your breath? (Typing your keyboard extra hard because they keep coming over to talk to you while you’re typing?) Have a stomach ache?
Any of these could be a sign that you’re holding onto something unhealthy.
Time to let that $#!t go.
2. Get curious.
Feel tense? Ask yourself why?
A problem just pop up?
Holding back about something that irritates you to your core?
Tense because they keep talking to you when you’re trying to work at your computer?
Get curious, and start asking yourself questions.
If you can’t place your finger on what’s bothering you, try this for a week.
Each night before you go to bed, take a couple minutes to write down how you feel. Then write out what you did that day including (but not limited to):
- who you spend time with
- what you ate
- whether you exercised or meditated
- whatever you think impacted your day
Read your entries at the end of the week to see if there’s any overlap between your positive or negative feelings and what you did those days.
Spend as little or as much time as you like, but even a tiny bit of time reflecting on your day helps get to the bottom of your feelings.
3. What do you want?
Imagine the perfect situation. What does that look like to you?
Having quiet when you’re at your computer working? Having time to think? More space physically?
Want to have a relaxed and loving relationship in which you don’t feel resentful that you’re spending all of your energy taking care of someone other than yourself?
If you can imagine it, you can make it happen, so don’t hold back!
4. What’re you gonna do about it?
Now that you’ve figured out what’s been nagging at you, what are you prepared to do? (Every time I hear that sentence, I’m reminded of Sean Connery in the Untouchables. Just me?)
If you don’t want to change your life or your situation, then you can stop reading now.
BUT, if you want to feel light and breezy and get rid go that tension in your shoulders and your jaw, read on.
Are you going to commit to making your life better by creating boundaries and taking time to care for yourself?
That means having difficult conversations and saying no to things that you don’t actually want to do.
It means making time to care for yourself to have the energy to give to those you love.
What one thing are you going to do to improve your life today? Tell me in the comments section below because I really need some support right now.
As for me, I know I’m starting my Tea Ritual Challenge right now.
If you want to commit to taking me time, click here to join in the next 21 Day Tea Ritual Challenge to get happier in just 10 minutes a day.
Lots of love & patience (and more love),
Founder & Recovering People Pleaser
Sicilian Tea Company