The downside of being really good at self-care (it happened to me)

Do you find that everyone is talking about self-care these days? What they can do to treat themselves well, eat healthfully, exercise regularly, stress less, sleep better, improve their communication, get a raise, feel more beautiful... the list goes on. 

Maybe I am a bit jaded because I have worked in the health and wellness world for years, but I am assuming that since you have found my blog at one point or another the topic of self-care is of interest to you. 

And that is wonderful! 

I am all for self-care, BUT, recently I have found that this self-care movement also has a pitfall that we want to pay attention to. 

This is what recently happened to me:

A few weeks ago, my back went out... again. If you've been following me for a while you know that my lower back pain -2 herniated disks- have had a huge impact in my life, the choices I've made, and the path I am on. 

They have been painful to the point of despair and yet the biggest blessing in disguise. 

They made me look at my life in a different way when I was deeply unhappy and didn't know what I wanted or who I am. 

Ultimately, my pain forced me to look at myself honestly and create a life that is deeply aligned with what I desire. 

My pain taught me how to choose myself completely -my strengths and my flaws; unconditionally.

Through becoming really good at self-care, making pretty dramatic life changes in the way I relate to myself, the way I nourish myself and move my body everyday, and the way I decide whether or not to take on a project or client, I have pretty much had no backpain for over 3 years (not even when I was 9 months preggo; can you imagine? I was so -positively!- surprised ;)). 

So when my back went out a few weeks ago while carrying my baby in one arm and bending down to pick up his pacifier with my free hand, I immediately had an inner voice saying... fine, screeching "Oh no... not again. Please, don't let this be bad ... and please don't let it last." My learned response to the slightest pain in my lower back region is still on high fear alert (something I am working on). 

 

Thankfully, I am better by now, but my improvement didn't come without a lesson: 

I was doing way too much. My husband and I started a side project (SmileSnappers) which I'm so psyched about, I am back to my full client schedule, I was considering doing another educational certification and I am a full time mom with only 24 hours in the day like everybody else.

While I am excellent at taking great care of myself in terms of making myself super healthy, yummy meals and exercising regularly with pleasure, I had a big AHA moment when I was lying on the chiropractor's bench: I am still sometimes pretty terrible at letting others take care of me.

Even in that moment when I had intense pain and my chiropractor was working on me, I felt a very familiar, yucky emotion creeping up: GUILT. 

Guilt about spending money. 

Guilt about being away from my baby. 

Guilt about asking my husband to go into work later. 

Guilt about not being productive when there are a lot of things that need to get done.

Guilt is literally like my bad ex boyfriend who invites himself to my party. I've broken up with him 100 times and yet he sometimes still shows up. 

 

So, what does one do? What am I working on right now?

I'm working on surrendering the feeling that I SHOULDN'T need help and inversely inviting in the feeling that I truly deserve not only to take amazing care of myself through my own hands but to let myself be taken care of by others as well. 

Being good at self-care should never come at the expense of not letting yourself be taken care of by others.

Being good at self-care should never mean that you are too proud to ask for help. It doesn't equal self-sufficiency.

We are all works in progress. There is always something to learn, something to improve, something to deepen into. We don't need to be afraid of it.

Since this is pretty vulnerable post for me because this all happened so recently, I'm curious: how is this for you? Are you good at self-care and also good at letting others take care of you? I'd love to hear from you on the blog.

With love & thank you for holding space for my story today.

XX, 

Caroline

 

Caroline Zwickson

Caroline Zwickson has a M.A. in Counseling Psychology and is a Certified Women’s Health Coach focusing on natural pregnancy preparation, hormone balance & postpartum recovery for women who want to feel amazing in their own skin and birth happy babies.

Caroline integrates functional nutrition, life & wellness coaching, as well as positive psychology to guide her clients in creating joyful lives and fertile bodies. She skillfully helps her clients adapt to new food & lifestyle habits that are grounded in establishing physical and emotional balance and health so that they can make decisions that are truly based on their goals, desires and intentions in life, especially at the onset of a new era: motherhood. Knowing how to nourish yourself in a way that promotes hormonal balance and having a close, loving relationship with yourself is the best possible preparation for pregnancy and motherhood.

Through her own experience navigating hormonal imbalances after coming off birth control in her 20s, Caroline experienced first hand that the most important factor in achieving a healthy and fun pregnancy is how women prepare their bodies and lives before they conceive. Her approach to women’s fertility and motherhood is based on positivity and the firm belief that women have an immense capacity for creation and bringing joy and beauty to the world.

Caroline has been featured in The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Your Bella Life, The Beauty Bean and Cafe Truth. She has spoken at companies like Martha Stewart Living, Yelp, AMEX, Twitter, and Charity Water. You can find out more about her at www.carolinezwickson.com and you can download her FREE workbook guiding you through her top 5 tools to help you conceive naturally.