Self Care for Real Life

Self Care for Real Life

Treat Yo Self!

Tell me if this sounds familiar:  "If one more health or wellness person tells me I need to be better at self care, I might scream!  I'd like to see THEM try to cram in all the things I do in a day and then in my "free time" read a book, take a bath, or get a massage.  Ya right, I don't even get to pee by myself, much less have free time!  And yet, I'd LOVE some self-care time, and I know it WOULD do me some good, but most of the time it just feels like one more thing on the "to do" list that I can't get to."

We all have our version of this story - we're last on a long list of "to do's" that we never seem to have enough time to accomplish.  We WANT time for self-care, we NEED it, but how?  This episode is all about self care for real life, what self care ACTUALLY looks like for a busy woman and how you truly CAN make time for it.

I'm going to share 3 really powerful but pretty simple strategies that you can incorporate right now to get more self care into your life, but I'll tell you the BIGGEST secret right now.  ANYTHING can be self care! Yes even those 5 minutes you locked yourself in the bathroom for a moment of peace and quiet.  When it comes to self care it doesn't' matter so much WHAT you do as much as it matters how you THINK & FEEL about what you do.  Five minutes of quiet in the bathroom counts as self care as long as while you're in there you're thinking "this is self care" "this is just for me".  For me, self care looks like a walk, cooking a healthy meal, reading my bible, sitting quietly for a couple minutes, lots of things! As long as I decide that it's self care, it is!

You can do this friend, you can put yourself back on the list, I'll help!


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Full transcription available at the bottom of this post

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Full Transcript: 

You're always hearing about how you need to make more time for self care. Treat yourself! But honestly, most of the time, the idea of self care seems like just one more thing on your massive to do list that you're probably failing at. It's just one more should and a long line of shoulds that we're not getting done. Can you relate to that? I know I should take care of myself. But most of the self care advice like, go take a bubble bath and get a massage, read a book feel so far from possible that it totally just makes me feel even more stuck. So today, I'm going to help you with some self care for real life. We're going to redefine what self care is, how it looks and how you can incorporate it into your crazy busy life. Let's go.

Welcome back to the no nonsense wellness podcast, the place for women who are trying to do all the things and stay healthy, sane and actually enjoy life in the process. Hey, I'm Tara, a trained therapist, a life coach, a nutrition coach and a fitness instructor. And I'm on a mission to help you take back control of your mind health and life. Each week, I'll be cutting through the nonsense and getting real with you. I'll bring you the insight and information you need to take control of your weight and health. Find food freedom, and finally break free from the thoughts that are sabotaging you and holding you back. You, my friend are powerful, and the world needs you to start showing up in a bigger way. It's time to get unstuck and start moving forward. So let's pop in those earbuds, tie up those shoes, let's walk and talk.

Okay, picture this: you were going to get up this morning, you were going to work out but you were so tired that you didn't. And all you could think about is your crazy long to do list today. So you just plop down at your desk, and you get straight to work before the kids get up. And chaos ensues. Your day is a never ending series of making food, cleaning up, entertaining kids, cleaning again, trying to get some work done, driving to activities, taking the dog to the vet, getting to the post office, getting those emails answered, and on and on and on. At the end of the day, you have no idea where the day went, or most of the time, even what you did the entire time. But here you are, once again, sitting at your computer, checking your emails one last time before you go to bed and you see an email from the HR lady of your office. And she has sent a quote unquote wellness email that talks about work life balance, and how you should use your off time to schedule a massage, take a nap, go for a walk or read a book. And you want to scream at her through your laptop because you don't have any off time. And then you shut your laptop and come very close to throwing it out the window. And yet, still, you do want to take care of yourself, you do know how important self care is. But it just seems so overwhelming. And most advice you get seems so absurd and unattainable that you just feel like you can't fit this one more thing in. So that's you, then these three self care strategies might be just what you needed. 

Before we even get to the strategies, though, consider this like a bonus number four strategy. But it's the thing that underlies everything. And that is when we're talking about self care. When we're talking about anything, really, your thoughts matter. All three of the strategies that we're going to talk about are going to rely on what you think about what you're doing. If you're doing something and you tell yourself, this is self care, this is just for me, then magically, it becomes self care. You see how that works. It's much more simple than we make it out to be. But it's such an overlooked concept. If I decide that what I'm doing right now is self care, then it is self care. So those five minutes you took outside on the back porch just to be in silence for a second. Tell yourself while you're out there. This is self care. This is just for me. This is what I needed. And it's just for me. Now at this point for me every walk that I take every workout that I do every healthy meal that I cook and enjoy eating. I remind myself always this is what self care looks like. This is me doing something just for me and those are the important phrases This is self care, this is just for me, you will start to find that the more you do that, the more self care, you'll feel like you're actually getting. And that's the important part. It's not so much what you're doing that is self care. It's how you feel and think about what you're doing that makes it self care. Does that make sense? A walk is just a walk, going to the bathroom and locking the door and just staying in there for five minutes. You could think in your head two things, you could think I'm escaping my kids, they're horrible. Why won't they leave me alone? Or you could think, Oh, this is a self care break. This is what self care looks like. For me right now I'm doing this just for me, you see how that's a completely different experience that you're gonna have for those five minutes locked in that bathroom? Does that make sense? So what you're thinking, and then, because of that, what's your feeling about what you're doing and calling it self care, this is going to make all the difference in the world. 

Okay, so let's talk about the three strategies. The first strategy seems obvious, but we don't do it. And that is just starting really small. And I mean, really small, like five minutes at a time, maybe 10 minutes, we can all find a five to five to 10 minute pocket that we could fit something in. And again, in that five to 10 minutes, you are thinking this is just for me, this is what self care looks like. Now that five minutes could look lots of different ways. It could be five minutes of reading, five minutes of praying, stretching, silence, you could do five minutes of yoga, five minutes of mobility work, five minutes of just again, sitting in your bathroom in silence, sitting out on your back porch, enjoying coffee for five minutes, whatever it looks like for you. Five minutes can actually make such a huge mental difference for you. And especially if you're thinking the right things while you're doing it. 

We get really, really stuck in this like all or nothing mentality when it comes to self care. Like it has to be some grand gesture that we make, like a bubble bath with candles and wine, or we have to go get a massage or you know, we have to go take a silent hike, or we have to have an hour of meditation or we have to be silently reading a book in our cozy favorite little nook. Like, yes, those things would be amazing. But those things aren't realistic, always in our life. If you have young kids, I know that that's not realistic in your life. So when you think about it, like, oh, yeah, a nice bubble bath. That sounds amazing. But that's not going to happen. What would be the five minute version of that? Like, what is the ideal self care thing you'd like to do? Get a massage, whatever. What is the five minute version of that thing? So ideally, I would love to get massages, can you tell? I would like to get more massages, that's not always realistic for me. I mean, it takes a long time, you gotta go to the place, and you gotta like an hour long. And then you gotta get back. I don't have two and a half hours, I can dedicate to just going to get a massage very often. But I do have one of those, like, knock off their guns that I got at Costco. That's amazing. Could I take five minutes and use that little theragun? Knock off thing? I forget even what it's called. But we'll call the theragun even though it's fake? Could I take five minutes and do that for myself? Yeah, I totally could. And could I then call that self care? Absolutely. And what I feel really good about doing it? Yes, I would. That's what I'm talking about what's the five minute version of the self care thing that you'd really like to be doing? Maybe it's just reading five minutes of a book instead of an entire chapter or an entire several hours, which you'd probably prefer to do. 

So here's what you're going to try for this strategy, you're going to make a list of small five minute activities that would make you feel like you checked the box of self care, whatever those are for you, it really doesn't matter only matters, what is going to feel like self care to you. So make that list of five things. And then when you find a five minute pocket, or when as we're going to talk about you design a five minute pocket in your day, you're going to look at that list, decide the five minute thing you're gonna do and while you're doing it, you're going to be saying and thinking to yourself, This is self care. This is just for me. Yeah. 

Okay, strategy number two, the three Ds, delete, delegate, and do less. Yeah, I'm serious. Here's what you're gonna do. You're gonna grab your schedule, you're gonna grab your red pen, and you are ruthlessly going to start crossing things off your schedule and out of your life. You don't have a daily schedule. That's a problem. You should probably start there. Here's what I want you to do first. If you do not have your entire day timed out in a sort of time blocking fashion, then here's what I want you to start with. You're going to do a daily time assessment. So what you're going to do is keep track of everything that You're doing for the entire day and how long it took you to do that. So, I mean, you're gonna start with, you know, 630 to 7am, I had coffee and checked emails, and then 7am, the kids got up from seven to nine, I was cooking breakfast, bathing, kids, getting them dressed, making lunches, you know, whatever, all the things that you were doing in that time, and then from nine to 11, I was blah, blah, okay, so you're gonna have to just write out exactly what you did in that entire day. And the times that it took you to do that. So now that you have this for a few days, and you have an idea of what your day looks like, and you might be shocked, actually, at what's actually going on in your day, and how things are taking probably longer than they could, and how maybe things are taking a little longer than they should if you were a little more planful, about your day, okay? 

When you have everything written out, you are then going to figure out what you can drop? Where can you be more efficient? Where is there a lot of time getting wasted? Look, we all only have 24 hours in a day, and we spend a lot of those sleeping. So we need to figure it out for ourselves? What can we get rid of? How are we wasting time? How can we be more efficient, because if I can do that, I can create more little pockets for just me time, can I create some more systems, like maybe a weekly meal plan just for dinners that would save some time and allow you to squeeze in a little bit more meantime, I can tell you, over the summer, I have started doing this. And it's been so much easier for me, when I already know in the morning of this is what I'm making for dinner. And I already have the stuff because that's how I shop for the week. I don't make stuff ahead of time. But just knowing here's what I'm making for dinner, and I don't have to decide that day. I'm so much more efficient. So little things like that can save you actually a lot of time. So go through your time assessment and figure out how are you actually spending your day. 

So the first D then is delete. So I know what you're thinking like, I cannot cross off feeding my children off of my list. I can't crossout  cleaning or soccer practice, even though I'd probably really like to, I can't cross those things off my list. I know I get it. But what can you cross off your list? Now this process might force you to reassess some of your boundaries with people in your family, volunteer things that you're doing whatever it is, you need to start thinking about who and what can you say no to? Sometimes that's going to be your kids. Sometimes that's going to be your spouse, like we got to get real about this, who and what can we say no to have you created obligations for yourself that are actually necessary? Have you committed yourself to things that you have told yourself are obligations. But really, it's not really necessary that you do that, or that you show up? Again, you got to think about how you're seeing these things. You might see them as an obligation. I as an outsider might look at your schedule and be like girl is not an obligation. You can say no to that. You have to kind of step out of yourself for a sec, get a different perspective, try to look at it from not your own eyes, but from maybe my eyes or someone else third party looking at your schedule, like get really brutal with yourself here. Do you have some habits like social media or watching TV that aren't really serving you? And maybe instead of doing that, you could spend that time doing something on your self care list that would serve you even more? So that 15 minutes that you were sitting there and scrolling social media? Could you have spent that 15 minutes doing something else that would have served you more, reading that book, sitting outside enjoying the silence, taking a quick walk, doing some stretches doing some 15 minutes yoga, like, really get honest with yourself here, we waste a ton of time and until you do that time assessment throughout your day, you won't even realize how much time you waste sitting on social media, watching TV and the like. 

So again, get real brutal and real honest with yourself here. What would happen if that task that you think is an obligation, that thing that you think you have to do? What would happen if it didn't get done at all? Like what would be the absolute worst consequence, when you're trying to decide what to put that red X through on your schedule? Ask yourself that question. Honestly, what would happen if this just didn't even get done? What would happen? What would be the very worst thing that could happen if I just didn't do this thing? Probably it's not as bad as you have built it up to be in your own head. Probably the consequence would not be that horrible. It's probably something that you could cross off your list if you wanted to. 

The second D then is delegate. As women I feel like we're not always really great at this. I know for me personally, I've had to learn delegation a lot throughout my life. But what you're really asking is, can someone else do this? Do I have to be the one doing this? Or can someone else do this? Can your kids walk the dog? Or do the dishes? Or move the clothes from the washer to the dryer? Can your partner pack lunches? Can you hire help? Can you hire a nanny, a housekeeper, a gardener? Can you find some carpool moms to share the load with you? Like, who can you get on your team you to help out with some of these things large and small. I will tell you, we live in a house with a really large yard, I do not like to garden, I don't like to weed, and I don't like to mess with flowers. I am not a gardener. It's not a thing that brings me joy, if you will, my husband has a lot of other things that he would rather be doing than mowing the lawn and doing yard work. So he decided it was worth it for him to pay for a gardener. And I can tell you, for sure he is happier because it's like the best money he's ever spent. Now, of course, we're pretty blessed that we can hire a gardener. I know that's like a luxury thing. So I'm not saying that's something everyone can do. But can you figure out ways that you can delegate some of these things to other people? Could you get your kids out there to pull some dang weeds? Could you hire the neighbor boy to come and mow your lawn? Like what are some things that you could just take off your plate that doesn't have to be done by you. 

Now in business, we talk about your zone of genius, right, and we talk about when you are trying to build a company, this are the things that I'm learning in business, I need to as a business owner stick to my zone of genius. And I need to be able to hire out and farm out the tasks that are not the things that I need to be doing. I don't need to be spending all my time updating websites, and updating code and finding pictures and creating graphics. Those are not my zone of genius, right? Coaching, and creating content and podcasts and information. That's where I need to spend my time. So everything that's not that I need to find someone else who can do that for me. Does that make sense? So you as a parent,  in your job, you in your life, what is your zone of genius? What are the things that really truly only are just you that are your things that need to get done? That can only really be done by you. And then what are all the things that you can delegate, I promise you, there are far more things you can delegate out than the things that you need to personally get done yourself. Okay? And I want you to get super honest with yourself about this. The towels do not need to be folded by you so that they're folded just so and perfectly and put in the closet perfectly. Your spouse could do that your kids could do that they can fold a towel, it's not going to look perfect, but it's going to be okay, we get so caught up in the idea that we have to be the ones to do all the things. Because it sounds like when it comes out of our mouth. No one else does it right. No one else does it my way. Nobody loads the dishwasher correctly. Nobody folds the clothes correctly. Nobody vacuums correctly, I do it better than they do. So then you end up just doing it all you have got to give up the idea of everything being perfect and everything being just so and really embrace the idea that Done is better than perfect. And done by someone else is even better than that.

Okay, the third D is do less Yeah, I'm being serious here. We're gonna go back to that idea of Done is better than perfect. If you're shooting for an A plus all the time on everything that you're doing, what would it be look like? If my house needs to be A plus clean? Right needs to be spotless? What would a B house look like? Can I be okay with that? What thoughts do you need to have in order for good enough to just be good enough? Again, what I'm talking about is letting some stuff go doing less? And doing less means you have to be okay with okay, and not perfect? What kind of thoughts do you need to be having for that to be accomplished in your life? You're gonna have to give up some of the thoughts of I'm being judged it has to be perfect. What does this say about me if it's not perfect, right, some of these things that are going through your head, you're gonna have to be able to give them up. You need to be aware of them first, and then you can name them and then you can give them up. 

And the last strategy is the third and last strategy is prioritize. So what we need to think about again, this kind of goes along with a 3ds is separating the half twos from the shoulds. Right. Okay, so getting your children to school is half to attending that PTA meeting is a should that you're putting on yourself, you have to feed your children, but baking cookies for the bake sale, that's a should that you're putting on yourself, you have to do the laundry. But deep cleaning the oven, that's a should, that you're putting on yourself, you have to go to the grocery store and get food, but doing your hair and makeup before you go, that's a should that you're putting on yourself, we get really caught up and all of these shoulds all day long, all the things we should be doing all of these needless shoulds, they just pile up, and they end up stealing our time wasting our energy, and keeping us from feeling healthy and fulfilled. You know, you're doing this, you know, you have a long list of shoulds all day long. So next time that you hear that voice in your head, saying that you should do something, I want you to call it out. It's gonna say like, oh, you really should put on a little bit more makeup and do your hair before you go to the post office. And you're gonna be like, No, I don't care. I'm just gonna get it done. Right, you're gonna talk right back to that voice. That voice is gonna be like, Oh, you really should volunteer to go to the kids class this week, even though you don't have time. And you're gonna be like, No, I'm not doing it. I don't have time. I have other priorities this week. Oh, you really should paint that wall in the dining room? No, no, I shouldn't. I don't have time to do that this week. I have other priorities this week, right? You're gonna hear that voice a lot. You really should, blah, blah, blah. And you're just gonna be like, no, no, thank you. 

Now, I want you to use some discernment here. This is going to be hard for you. Because your tendency, all of our tendency, everything is going to be a half to, to us. Right? We think everything is I have to, we're not very good, most of us at discerning between: What are the things that we have to do? And what are the things that are just the oh, you should do that. But really, I don't have to. Everything feels like a have to to us. Does that make sense? Like I will tell my husband? Oh, I have 10 million things on my to do list. I feel so overwhelmed by it. Do you know why? It's because every single thing on there is a have to to me, and what I have to go through then when I hear myself saying those things, I need to go back through that list and realize, okay, Tara, let's actually pick out the have tos highlight the half dues? What are these things that absolutely have to get done? And what are the shoulds? What are the things I should do? But I don't really have to do right now. That makes sense. Like I do the all or nothing. So I know most of us are doing it. What do you really have to keep? Or what can you just let go? Maybe not forever, but at least for now. 

Also, you want to look out for this should not I should not let my kid watch TV so that I can get blah, blah, blah, done. Right? Who says give your kid the dang TV so that you can finish those emails for work? Okay, who made that rule? I should not pay extra for pre-cut veggies, I should take the time I should pay less and get the veggies and then take an hour to cut them all up? They sell pre cut veggies, it would save you a good bit of time. Why don't you just buy those? Like, you're the one making up the rules here. Which means you can make different rules for yourself. Okay, I should not stop working until all my emails are answered. Who says nobody said you had to answer every single email and every single day you said that? If you made up that rule, you can unmake up that rule. Okay, so not only are you looking for the shoulds that that your brain is telling you but you're also looking for these rules, these should nots that your brain is trying to tell you guess what, you're in charge of all of it. You get to decide what's what's a have to, And what is just a should that I could let go, what is it should not that is just a rule that I made up that I can make up a different rule about, okay, it's all happening in your own brain, all of it, which means you're in charge of it, okay? 

You are in charge of what you prioritize. You do not have to be all things to all people all the time, you get to decide what's important to you, and the trade offs that you're willing to make in your life so that you get back on your own list. You are in charge of putting yourself back on your own list. You get to make all these decisions. You get to decide what your thoughts are. You get to decide what your priorities are, you are in charge of you. Okay, my friend. I hope that was really helpful. I would love to hear if you actually put some of these things into action. If you're not in the community group hop in there. It's on Facebook. Links are always on the website and in the show notes. I would love to hear if this made a difference for you. And one of the strategies for you or like Oh, dang it. She called me out on that one. I have tendency to do that. Why? Because I have to call myself out on stuff too. And so you need to get better at calling yourself out on stuff. Okay my friends until we talk again, be well.

friends thanks so much for being here. If you found value in today's episode, will you do me a favor and head over to iTunes? Find the no nonsense wellness podcast and subscribe and leave me a review. It would mean the world to me and help other people find the show. And I'd love to connect with you more. So find me on Instagram. I'm @tarafaulmann. Take a screenshot of this episode and share it in your stories and tag me. I'll see you over there.

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