March 20, 2016

We’ve Fallen, But We Can Get Back Up: 3 Steps to Self-Care.

Pete Toscano/ flickr

Warning, adult language ahead!

Come on, say it with me: ”Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get back up!”

Let’s face it, we will be forever quoting that line until it no longer is funny. Which won’t happen until we are in our 90s, in a heap on the bathroom floor, unable to get up. Then it will all feel like some perverse cosmic joke.

But what if we have already fallen?

Not in the physical definition, but rather in the mental and emotional definition.

What if we’ve gotten to a point where we have fallen so far down the rabbit hole of fatigue and low self-esteem that we can’t figure out how to get back up?

Many of us grew up being told that we could have it all. Our mothers didn’t have the opportunities we did. For many of them, they were relegated to the roles of either being a secretary, teacher, nurse or full-time mom. There just weren’t many options for them, especially if they wanted to have a family too.

Our mothers saw possibilities for us which had only been dreams for them. And many of them were seriously unhappy, feeling unfulfilled and without purpose—sound familiar? They encouraged us to grab the brass ring and get it all because surely that would prevent their daughters from the same unhappiness they experienced.

They meant well, but they had no idea the toll it would take.

We are women who are highly stressed, filled with anxiety and suffering from low self-esteem. We take pills to sleep, pills to relax and more pills to help us focus just to survive each day. And if we aren’t taking pills we are stuffing ourselves with food, the more acceptable social drug of choice.

All of this creates a great spiral into the abyss of of self-loathing and overwhelm. Once there, we ask ourselves:

“Why can’t I get my crap together?”
“Why am I miserable when I have what looks like a great life to everyone else?
“When am I going to figure out my purpose, because this isn’t working!”

We have fallen down, and we can’t seem to figure out how to get back up.

We fill our days with checking off items on our “to-do” that do not fulfill us. We feel pulled in a million different directions, answering to too many bosses and left feeling overwhelmed, because at the end of the day there is zero time or energy left for ourselves.

Everyone is getting a piece of us, but no one is really getting the best of us.

We slice off what we can for work, another chunk for kids, a portion for the spouse and then there’s nothing left. It feels like we are just half-assing everything. Life has become survival of the fittest, and some days we would just rather chuck it in the fuck it bucket and run away to a deserted island.

At least then there would be no one wanting something from us.

It is time for us to stop living in this world of fear we have created for ourselves.

Fear we aren’t good enough moms,
Fear we aren’t good enough wives,
Fear we aren’t good enough employees,
Fear our house isn’t clean enough,
our kids aren’t smart enough,
and our bodies certainly aren’t sexy enough.

Enough is enough.

So how do we stop living in the fear and get ourselves back up?

Here are three things we can incorporate into our everyday thinking that will get us moving in the right direction.

  1. Treat yourself with as much love as you would a friend who came to you espousing that she just wasn’t good enough. Tell that ego voice in your head to go to timeout. That bitch is crazy and the more you realize she’s spinning a bunch of nonsense the better of you will be.
  2. Stop writing checks you can’t cash when it comes to your time. If your brain is screaming No, make your mouth actually say no…not yes, not maybe. No. You can’t add things you love if your calendar is full of stuff you loathe. Make space, get rid of what you don’t want so you can bring in the new.
  3. Adopt a policy of self-care before all others. Feels selfish right? Fact is that if we don’t take care of ourselves first, there is not going to be anything left for others. Go for a walk, get a manicure, buy yourself flowers…whatever it is that makes you feel special, just do it.




Relephant Read: 

How to Practice Authentic Self-Care. 



Author: Sherry VanAntwerp 

Apprentice Editor: Lindsay Carricarte / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Image: Flickr/Pete Toscano

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