Prioritising your self-care is no simple task. The pull of old habits is huge and it’s so easy to fall back into what is known to us and often you don’t even know this is happening. Staying committed to your self-care can lead to a soul-destroying start-stop circle. Changing habits is not easy, and it will require courage to create new patterns, but the reward is a beautiful life, filled with positive energy and joy.
After losing my husband Chris to chronic alcoholism, it took everything I had in me just to survive. Self-care was nowhere on the agenda. Raising two kids on my own weighed heavy on my shoulders and I was drowning in fear, terrified to get things wrong. Two little people were relying on me to get it right and I didn’t have time to take care of myself because everything I had in me went into raising my kids.
There came a point when I realised that my approach was not working. I realised that I wasn’t being the great mom that I wanted to be. I knew I was doing my best. To do better, I needed to start taking care of myself first – so I was in a better place, to do better.
That is where my healing journey began. The path presented itself when I decided to walk on it.
Making the decision, the commitment was the start of everything. I hope this article can help you learn from my journey which may save you some heartache and time. Here are six tips to help you stay committed to your self-care:
Know your why
Why are thinking that self-care is something you need to prioritise? Somewhere along the way, my meandering crossed the commitment border into whole-hearted healing. I wanted to smile again and feel at peace, free from guilt, anxiety and fear. I didn’t want to feel alone anymore and I wanted to be a better mom. I didn’t want my kids to learn my unhealthy patterns. I needed to practice self-care to set the best example of how to overcome the loss that devastated our family.
When times get tough, I remind myself of these reasons. Take a moment to reflect on why you are wanting to commit to your own self-care.
Write a commitment statement
Write down your reasons to prioritise your self-care. List as many as possible. Then pick out your top 3. put them on post-it-notes or reminders in key places so you see them every day. Don’t let yourself forget your why because your why will help you push through when things get uncomfortable.
Next, write a commitment statement to your self-care. Include some self-care intentions and when you’ll schedule them in. Things that get scheduled get done. Make sure to review this commitment regularly. This is where a written schedule on a calendar or in a diary helps. You could pin an intention setting sheet to your fridge. Or use the post-it-notes. Do what works for you.
Talk about your commitment
The more you talk about your commitment and share your experience, the more accountable you become. It also allows others to cheer you on and commend you for your effort. You can then reflect back on these wonderful comments time and time again. Talking about your commitment and self-care in a community, like the Blossome community, where others are committed to their self-care, is super helpful
Put in the effort. Be courageous. The things that are easy to do, are easy not to do. So do them, no matter what. You’ll come up against a great deal of discomfort, awkwardness, and unease. But the reward of pushing through that discomfort is huge. Courageous expression promotes both healing and connection. Be brave. The rewards are worth it.
Track progress and cheer yourself on
Have a means of tracking your progress. It could be as simple as a weekly schedule where you place a checkmark next to the self-care that you have scheduled in. When you complete your self-care task, have a way of rewarding yourself, or cheering yourself on. Maybe a little dance, a high 5 in the mirror, or a healthy treat. Do what makes you smile.
Sometimes, things won’t go to plan, and when this happens, remember to treat yourself as you would your best friend. Show yourself some self-compassion and understanding. Give yourself a supportive touch and encouragement to keep on going the next day.
Saying you are going to keep your commitments is one thing, doing it is another. Use these six tips to help you move forward with your self-care. It’s your own journey but you don’t have to walk it alone. Join the Blossome community.
Kim Moore is the Founder of Blossome CIC. She lost her husband Chris to alcoholism in 2017. She faced a difficult journey while raising 2 children alone, with her family living on the opposite side of the world. Kim founded the Blossome Community and The Pathway to Peace healing journey so no one would have to feel alone while enduring the trauma of a loved one’s battle with alcoholism or addiction. She is also on a mission to end the generational cycle of alcoholism and addiction in families.