You may be surprised to hear me say this, but sometimes it’s not ‘self care’ that we require…
We just need CARE, period.
Let that sit for a second, how does it make you feel?
For me: it instantly took a weight off, I immediately had this pressure lift from my shoulders and chest. I allowed myself space to deserve something I didn’t feel worthy of, until now.
I hope as you’re reading this, you will find that same empowerment that you deserve.
I often talk about being in a state of overwhelm, and how to get out of it. We are led to believe we have no control over our bodies with this disease. In some ways that’s true, but sometimes the answer isn’t more doing. We are already SO reactive, we don’t always need to do more. We need to do less.
Let me explain
When you’ve been THROUGH IT, or are still in the thick of it, sometimes just barely keeping your head above water… the word ‘self care’ feels heavy. It’s one more thing we need to worry about when we have the weight of the world on our shoulders.
When you have been dismissed so many times, when you have to fight for every single answer you get, feeling like we’re doing all the work but still not getting anywhere. It’s exhausting. The last thing you want to hear is to do MORE work because you’re not caring for yourself properly.
I’m guilty of it, I say it all the time. There’s a time and place for self care but it’s not the only form of care needed. Which is why I want to reframe the conversation about what care looks like. Period.
We’re expected to do a lot as humans, as women, as chronically ill, as cancer thrivers, survivors, when we’re at our limits of overwhelm the answer cannot always be self care.
We get misdiagnosed, or are navigating a diagnosis, we are called ‘complex’, we sometimes feel unworthy of care at all. Like it’s too much to even consider asking for help because we won’t be believed anyway. This all weighs heavily on our hearts, and this is why self care isn’t always the answer. We don’t need more work to do, we have already become fiercely independent and keep ourselves alive – we just need some kindness. The type of care we’ve been looking for and not always receiving. That’s the only self care I want to discuss.
The actual definition of care is: “the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something”
Care (no self implied) is just being kind, removing resistance, and allowing yourself to just listen to what your body is telling you. Care to me is learning to listen to my body’s needs without jumping to ‘fix it’ or adding any other form of duty.
Examples of care can be speaking kindly to yourself, having patient thoughts, listening inward. When your mind is racing, just noticing your thoughts instead of stop fighting them. Sitting with how you’re feeling but not jumping to a conclusion or solution right away.
Care can be shutting down the internal argument that comes from needing rest or not wanting to add ‘another thing’ to your plate. You can care for yourself by just letting it be. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – that story you create in your mind about needing rest or doing all the things you ‘need’ to do. You could have let yourself rest with all the time you spent arguing with no one but you.
If you’re reading this, does it feel good to just know that we can just BE? We can just feel or grieve or NOT feel at all…
We also have the option to not process anything, we can simply sit with whatever it is.
For me, knowing that’s an option made me feel less overwhelmed already
Giving yourself another ‘to do’ isn’t always helpful, listen to what YOUR needs are at this moment.
What is your heart saying?
Presence is powerful. Not planning on how to ‘fix’ what you’re feeling, just allowing it to be
Self care: the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
Just knowing that NOT taking action is sometimes an option, made me feel more at ease. It also made it easier for me take action when needed. It cleared the path of resistance in order to tend to my needs in a different way.
When we give ourselves care with no strings attached, we are essentially just allowing ourselves to feel kindness. Giving ourselves grace, patience, and the attentiveness we would give a loved one.
No action necessary.
Follow along with my daily journey @pheovsfabulous