Here’s a quick look at this episode:
- When we run to things outside ourselves under stress, we do things TO ourselves.
- What does it mean to do things FOR yourself?
- Why affirmations are the key to creating lasting change!
Well hello there! Welcome back to the redefining Bold podcast. You're listening to episode number 20 and I'm your host Gwen Whitfield from theboldabode.com, where I guide warm-hearted women in their quest for a more organized, cleaner home and a more productive and vibrant life.
Do you take care of yourself? I think that it's way more popular, if you wanna use that word, to talk about self-care than it ever has been. I remember growing up my mom, took such good care of us, and even though she worked full-time, i always knew that she was available emotionally whenever I needed her.
And I remember she would always buy us clothes and whatever we needed. But she rarely ever spent any money on herself. And as we got older and my sisters started to move out, and thus the financial burden of raising children was less because I was the only one still at home, I remember my dad telling her to go and buy herself some new clothes.
And so she did. I remember being so happy that she was shopping for herself and treating herself to some new things. It made me feel good that she was prioritizing herself and not having to go without because of her children.
I know that as a mom, and if you're listening and happen to also be a mother, our first instinct is to provide for our children, to take care of our children, and to give them everything that they could ever possibly want or need. pithing reason of course, because we want to raise well-adjusted human beings and not spoiled brats, right? ha ha.
So this idea of self-care is really important whether you have kids or not. There's so many things that cause stress in life, and we can run to very unhealthy habits, like I talked about an episode 19.
There are many things that we do in life TO ourselves: when we’re under stress and turning to food or alcohol or drugs or other risky behaviors, to alleviate the stress and anxiety, we’re actually doing something to ourselves. were abusing our bodies and putting ourselves at risk.
But what if we flip the script. What if instead of doing things to ourselves when we're under stress, we begin to reframe that idea in our minds, and begin to do things FOR ourselves.
If we can become our biggest supporter, then we can begin to turn to more positive healthier ways to not just cope the stress of life, but to have a cushion in our soul so that when we experience difficult times, we have the energy, and the endurance, and the fortitude, to manage the difficult times, the pain and suffering and even just the day-to-day stress.
You've probably heard it described this way: if your bank account is empty then you can't make any withdrawals, right? When we fill ourselves up first, and we do things for ourselves, then we have that bank account to withdraw from.
However… in a bank account you can have money in your bank account, but if you constantly have bills coming out, you might miss some thing by a few dollars in overdraft.
But if you are really conscientious, and proactive, you can be sure to have a cushion above and beyond what you need for the day today so that you never overdraft.
So I'll go back and tell you a little bit about what it was like for me in the beginning of the pandemic, and I'm sure many of you listening we relate to this:
I was watching what I was eating, but not truly being completely healthy with my food choices. I wasn't really exercising at all, and I was tired from not being able to sleep properly every night. I wasn't really able to work much, because I just never felt that great.
And then the pandemic hit, and life changed, and comfort food happened: a lot of it, and the stress grew exponentially.
I had no cushion in my bank account, and every day felt like an eternity. And I was doing things to myself instead of for myself. At the end of April, I had a bit of a wake up call when I tried to put my shoes on and it was difficult to bend over.
And I realize that I was not taking care of myself at all and I was going down a very slippery slope. And that's when I realized that I needed to make some changes.
And the things that I started doing for myself cost nothing. It's super nice to go out and have a manicure and a pedicure and get your haircut and buy new clothes. But obviously during the pandemic I couldn't do that. I had no external way to really fill my bank account because everything was shut down.
So there were only really two things that I could begin to do for myself.
One was to exercise and move my body. And the second was to make sure I was eating to fuel my body rather than for fun. And stress relief.
And here is the most important this I started to do… I began to look in the mirror, and tell myself daily, I love you. You are doing a great job, Gwen. You are taking care of yourself, and I'm proud of you.
Like I literally would say those things out loud to myself so that I could hear myself reaffirm what I was doing for myself. There's some thing about telling yourself that you're “proud of yourself”, that is so encouraging. If you've ever had someone tell you that they're proud of you, how does it make you feel? I know over my life my parents have told me that often, and it always makes me feel loved.
But maybe if you're listening, you didn't have that same experience. But you can be that for yourself. In episode 6, I talked about parenting yourself. There comes a point in life where you have to step up, you have to grow up, and when you're able to step up and grow up and do things for yourself, your life will blossom.
When you're able to look at yourself in the mirror, and verbally affirm yourself and encourage yourself, it does some thing inside.
For me it gives me an energy to move throughout my day that I otherwise wouldn't have. And when we begin to have that place of respite in our own being, we have so much more to give to those around us. Those who need us whether they are children, or spouses, or coworkers. When we are at peace within ourselves, it will show. And it will affect every aspect of our lives.
And so, if you are exhausted because you were giving everything you have to everyone else, and you are continually cultivating unhealthy coping mechanisms, it’s time for you to look inside and fill yourself up.
Fill yourself with hope, fill yourself with encouragement, fill yourself with deep abiding love.
So what do you need to stop doing to yourself and what can you do for yourself this week?
I want to know so that I can encourage you and support you. Email me at [email protected]com and let me know. When we reach out to others, and tell them what we are goals are, then we are more likely to accomplish them!
Thanks so much for listening. I can't wait to hear from you, and I'll see you in the next episode!
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