Two reasons your self-care routine is doomed to fail!

Self-Care for Codependency, Love addiction, and trauma
Photo: Annie Spratt

How many times have you started with a self-care routine only to find yourself in your old patterns only a few days later?

While the benefits of practicing self-care sound logical to most…lowers stress, become more zen, less over or undereating, overall better health, actually have the nerves to stay present in our relationships, stop overreacting….

The struggle with self-care is real!

The challenge to actually love and honor yourself enough to include daily self-care surpasses the simplicity of doing.

If the idea of practicing 5 minutes a day of self-care such as writing down three things you are grateful for and why makes you feel uneasy, you are not alone.

While there are many reasons your self-care routine failed before it even took off here are two you may have not thought about before.

No one ever said you are worth it!

Self-care is hard for people that have never learned to love themselves!

Think back to being a child. How many times was your behavior of “being good” linked to feeling good. The quit pro quo society starts early in life.

“You can have some sweets, if you are….”

“You deserve a break after working so hard.”

“You did really great in school…here is your reward.”

or the opposite

“You are bad, and don’t deserve….”

Now the above sentences held true for individuals growing up in families in which adults paid attention. If you grew up in a family with dysfunctional patterns of addiction, abuse, neglect, and mental illness identifying a self that is worthy of taking care of is often even more complex.

Today, you still so desperately want to please and be seen…..the problem is no-one can prioritize your self-care but you!

You feel guilty about taking care of yourself!

In addition to family of origins lack of suggestions that you deserve to be regarded as loveable independent from your behavior, the go-go society we live in adds to the struggle.

To keep the economy going the marketing messages suggest that after a hard day at work you deserve to rest. So relaxation is scheduled for special occasions and special time periods – outwardly focused exercises, the hippest diet, a cool vacation, or an afternoon drink…where self-care continues to be a doing vs. being.

Again it’s the carrot you chase “if I am doing this I can be deserving of recognition.”

Maybe, even getting your nails done is more of a chore than time for yourself as it feeds into looking beautiful for others.

I see you your worth!

I just want to tell you to STOP! …..Sit still and take care of yourself.

But, I know it isn’t that easy. There are real feelings and forces at play that have prevented you from truely falling in love with yourself.

Know that you have built self-defense mechanisms that were useful for your survival at some point.

Maybe being in your body wasn’t safe?

Maybe feeling good and expressing yourself in your imperfection and uniqueness wasn’t acceptable as a child?

Maybe you were told that you are worthless?

Maybe you think you are not enough?

I understand that self-care can be foreign and downright frightening.

What if you actually fall in love with yourself?

I hear you!

A Self-Care routine starts with you!

Pay attention to the messages that you tell yourself. Recognize old and the suggested messages from your current environment. Find out what it is that you need in this moment. And while you may not be able to practice self-care at exactly that moment, acknowledging and noticing your needs is already good practice.

Ask yourself “What do I need right now?”

While self-care may not come naturally to you, start being curious about how you could take small steps towards more balance. Be kind to yourself!

Recognizing and finding the right self-care routine takes time.

I am always sharing and looking for new ways to talk about self-care tips and insights. So make sure you check back or subscribe to my YouTube channel where you can find practical self-care tips.

I invite yourself to take a step towards healing. One day at a time!

If you’d like me to come along on your journey you can contact me here.

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