3 Reasons Your Self-Care Isn't Working For You

In our hustle society we like to treat self-care like triage. It’s the emergency solution for when we’ve truly burnt ourselves out and not used as a method of maintenance.

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I speak to this from experience as a recovering serial goal setter, overachiever and burnout queen.

Hustle was my first name and flow was the name of the lady on the Progressive commercials, not something I did daily. Like so many, I wore “busy” like a badge. Actually, it was my Oscar. I was proud of it. I was also the lady who said yes to everything and then was disappointed when my once-a-year 90 minute spa treatment didn’t wipe away the years of intense life & work stress.

So, I get it. I didn’t really understand that putting myself first was indeed putting my best foot forward. It was a hard concept to grasp.  But when it did finally sink in, I couldn’t seem to get it to stick. It was an awkward journey for sure until I had an ah-ha: Brianna, you aren’t practicing self-care consistently because what you are doing isn’t working for you and it isn’t working for you because you don’t actually know what you need.

Mic drop.

Is this story sounding familiar?  If so, you might be struggling with one of these 3 hurdles to finding a self-care routine that works for you and you can stick to.

#1. You aren’t organized

I know...what the heck does organization have to do with self-care?  The answer, everything. Here’s the thing: if self-care is supposed to help us navigate our daily lives, but you don’t have any idea what kind of time and energy the week or the day ahead of you will require, you have no idea what kind or amount of self-care you need. If you are a “it’s all in my head” person, it’s time to get committed to a calendar. Sunday night, take a look at your week ahead and gauge your “busy” scale. Is it a taxing week where you might need more time to decompress or a light week where a long walk will do the trick? Maybe you have a lot of meetings and a fun night out with friends is exactly what you need. Understanding your week, will make a huge difference.

BONUS: you’ll start to identify the boundaries you need to maintain your energy.

DOUBLE BONUS: take your organization to the next level and get your space in order. When your space is organized, you set yourself up for easier relaxation. Who wants to relax staring at a messy room? I sure don’t.

#2. You are trying all of the wrong things

Guess what? Self-care is not one-size-fits-all.  That would be great if it was, but since each of us is a human with unique DNA who responds to stress differently, we have to find what works for us. Maybe you do love candles and a massage or maybe a trip to the garden store is your jam. It doesn't matter what it is as long as it helps you recharge, decompress and brings you joy. Start trying things and take note of how you feel before and after. Those emotions will indicate if it’s a good act of self-care for you.

BONUS: Self-care doesn’t have to be about spending money. You’ll almost always find really easy and free activities that sing to your heart.

DOUBLE BONUS: trying different practices will give you an amazing toolbox of routines that will fit your week.

#3. You don’t schedule it

Ya’ll, if it isn’t on your calendar you probably aren’t going to do it. I can’t tell you how many times I had “in my head” that I was going to go to the gym and “something came up” at work. You have to put it on your calendar and commit to it. And as Rachel Hollis says, “Never break a promise to yourself.” Amen to that! Here’s the awesome thing; when you are scheduling time for yourself doing something that brings you joy, you’ll want to do it. And wanting to do it means you just built in some awesome motivation to your week.

When we choose to skimp on our self-care and not to put ourselves first, we tell ourselves we don’t matter and my friend, that is simply not true.