What helped was when I learned about the long term impact of trauma or rather the long term impact of toxic stress on my body. I could easily see how the abuse I suffered made me not want to talk about the past, feel my feelings, or want to take care of my body. But what was invisible to me and my awareness was how the toxic stress from my childhood was still fueling the high level of cortisol in my body. The high levels of stress hormones in the body can create and contribute to long term problems with our heart and for our blood vessels. This information became a game changer for me.
I had to start to practice good self-care to help my body counter the years of living with toxic levels of stress in my body. My body was my vehicle to living a good life. I needed a healthy body if I was going to heal and restore, I was not sure how but I knew I wanted to experience feeling good about myself after all the healing.
Adding self-care to my life was difficult because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted and needed. I was really hard on myself about this, too. It was embarrassing. I was a grown woman but I didn’t know how to care for myself in a loving way.
However, I was very skilled at taking care of family and friends. I knew what they needed and I would go out of my way to make sure those needs were met. I always put them first, often at the expense of my own self-care.
Does this sound like you? If so, here’s how to stop neglecting yourself.
Self-care begins with awareness. Pay attention to what works, what doesn’t work, and what needs to be tweaked in your life.
The best way to do this is to make a list:
- What healthy foods did you eat today?
- Did you exercise today?
- How much water did you drink today?
How much sleep did you get?
- Did you do something today that gave you joy, something just for you?
Seems like a tall order, doesn’t it? It did to me at first. With a busy work life and a family of five, I had no time in my day for taking care of “me.”
But I was determined to do this, so I kept trying. I was especially motivated to not let the past take any more from my present life. It is my life now. My future that I was investing in. I knew it was my responsibility now to choose things that were good for me.
Then an amazing thing happened. I began to feel better about myself. I was shocked to discover self-care was helping me heal.
Slowly, I started to treat myself with the respect and love I deserved. And it felt good. Really good. After a few ups and downs with my self-care, I learned what worked for me. I gave myself 12 months, a whole year to implement a new healthy habit. It has taken a few years but now I do some form of exercise 5 time per week. I drink plenty of water every day. I keep track of my sleep and I get 3 healthy meals every single day. My self-care journey was just as challenging as my emotional and mental health journey but I have to say it was the most rewarding. I know I have helped reverse some of the long term health affects my trauma caused and I get to feel good in my body and feel good about taking care of it.
You can do this, too. Make today the day you take those first steps toward your own self-care. It won’t feel comfortable at first, but keep trying. You’ll be glad you did!
Ready to tackle self care? Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. I can help! Just follow (this link) or call 619-889-6366 to reserve a one-hour coaching session with me ($125). Let me help you understand the impact, and how to start your healing journey. You deserve it! Reserve your spot NOW!
Have you read my new book, “Releasing Your Authentic Self”? If you’re ready to do the deep, hard work of emotional healing, this book is for YOU!! You’ll find it at Amazon in paperback (link) or Kindle (link). Enjoy and happy reading!
Are you looking for more support? I have created a closed Facebook group for the readers of “Releasing Your Authentic Self” If you are ready to dig deep, and want to experience the daily support, encouragement from others like you. Follow this link to learn more: Releasing Your Authentic Self Support Group.