The Only Self-Care That Works

Taking care of the body and mind is highlighted each January as we set out with good intentions for the new year.  Exercise more, drink less, and start a new diet.  We want to take good care of ourselves as we know all the great benefits.  We want to practice great self-care.  What is real self-care? It is the thought behind the action.  The “why” of self-care matters much more than the action itself.

Why are you drinking wine or shopping online or contorting yourself into pigeon pose?  Is it because of the thought of who you will become after achieving or having that thing?  Or are you doing it to buffer or numb out or comfort yourself?

Self-care is taking an action because you’ve consciously chosen it ahead of time as a way to promote your mental, emotional, and physical health – in whatever ways you choose for yourself.

How you think literally determines how you feel and behave.

I think the most important self-care activity out there is managing your mind.

How you think literally determines how you feel and behave.

Drinking as a way to de-stress produces a temporary dopamine burst and potentially a temporary reprieve from the stress. Then we have to keep drinking to continue to feel de-stressed each day because we didn’t change the thing that created the stress in the first place.  Managing your mind is the only form of self-care that actually reduces the stress, overwhelm, or other feelings that require self-care activities in the first place.

If you think of self-care as something you do to soothe and cope after you’ve created a lot of negative emotion for yourself, that should be a sign to you that it’s time to focus on fixing the core problem – your thoughts.

There are many ways to take the edge off and de-stress at the end of the day.  Drinking doesn’t have to be one of them.

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