Self-Care Tug of War

One of the things that factors into my personal definition of “living intentionally & fearlessly everyday” is making time for self-care.  But sometimes determining what forms of self-care are best can be very difficult.  When more than one thing feels “out of balance” or if there is more than one aspect of your life that is causing stress, it can be difficult to decide what form of self-care is best suited for the situation.  It can even feel like an internal tug of war.  It’s as though by choosing to take care of one area you’re neglecting another (and therefore screwing up, right?).

angel_demon_tug_of_warHow to decide your focus…

There is a really great article on “The Mighty” about self-care and what no one tells you about it.  A couple of my favorite quotes from that article are:

What social workers and other people don’t often tell you is that self-care can be completely terrible. Self-care includes a lot of adult-ing, and activities you want to put off indefinitely. Self-care sometimes means making tough decisions which you fear others will judge. Self-care involves asking for help; it involves vulnerability; it involves being painfully honest with yourself and your loved ones about what you need.

the other thing nobody tells you about self-care is that it’s nearly impossible to know if you’re doing it right, until months later when you either find yourself feeling better or shittier. Check in with me in June for an addendum.

That last part about how “it’s nearly impossible to know if you’re doing it right, until months later” really gets to the crux of the issue.  When there are so many aspects of self-care, it’s incredibly difficult to know how you should spend your time & energy, especially when you feel like multiple aspects of your life need care & feeding.

I’m currently in the middle of a transitionary period.  It’s exciting, but also brings with it some anxiety of the unknown and fear of failure.  During the transition, I’m spending some additional time & energy on work (both at work but also processing things going on at work).  It should be only during the transitionary period but it still means a struggle for finding time for self-care.  For instance, I know I struggle a lot if I don’t have enough sleep.  When I don’t get enough sleep, I struggle with cravings and things can become an emotional rollercoaster if I’m not careful.  But, working out is also very important for my physical health as well.  But with the additional time (and energy) spent on work, I have found myself needing to choose between sleep & working out.  And it’s really difficult to know which choice is best.  And it’s also difficult (for me at least) not to feel guilty regardless of what I pick.

Really, what it comes down to is feelings.  Lately, I’ve been choosing to deal with whatever thing that I find to be the most overwhelming.  It’s been a bit touch & go.  Some days I just hope I picked the right thing to address.  Some days I feel guilty because I make a choice that’s at the expense of some other choice I could be making (i.e. I choose to go to bed early rather than fitting in my workout).

Choosing Focus

When you’re in times of transition (or life happens), how do you choose how to implement your own self care?  And how do you know if you’ve made the right choice?  I feel like one of the things I’m supposed to learn right now is forgiveness.  Forgiveness & leeway for myself in getting through times of change.  How do you avoid being too hard on yourself?  What’s your biggest area of focus right now?

I’d love any insights anyone has to share.  One of the things I missed last week was my weekly post.  ?  I felt bad about it and yet, it just didn’t get done.  I hope you’ll help me by providing some forgiveness & love both to yourself and to me as I work through this transition period in my life.


Wishing you an All+SUM LIFE,
– Sarah

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