Episode 110: Warning Signs That Our Self-Care Isn’t Healthy

First, let me start off with the fact that I LOVE that our community views self-care as a necessity and not a selfish act.

We’re smart enough to understand the benefits of self-care, right, especially when we love someone who suffers from any kind of addiction.

And if you’re new to the subject of self-care a great place to start is by listening to episode #79 or reading the 7 Most Important Questions You Need To Ask Yourself.

But… one thing I know for sure (to quote Oprah) is that we’re a group of high achieving women. We’re ambitious.

How do I know that?

Look at all the effort we’ve been putting into trying to get our loved one sober. We’re driven and we make their happiness and health our life’s purpose.

But if you’ve joined one of our programs you quickly learned, that behavior has GOT. TO. GO. If you’ve ever made it your job to get them sober, chances are it’s wearing you out, leaving you resentful and most importantly….it’s just not working.

All that worry…

“Are they coming home tonight?”
“Will they ever get better?”
“Are they lying?”
“Do they love me enough to get sober?”

All that disappointment…

“I’m the only one working on our relationship”
“He denies there’s even a problem”
“They never take responsibility for their actions”
“Their sobriety never lasts”

It’s normal. And… it’s not ok to continue to live like this. I’m not telling you to leave… you’ll know if you should stay or go after you do the work, but for now – let’s just focus on self-care.

One of the core lessons we teach is to stay in your own lane. And some of you have mastered this technique. And that’s a very good thing. Because this allows us to focus on ourselves and stop obsessing (or worrying) about them.

But since we’re the type of women who love to improve ourselves, we can sometimes turn self-care into a chore that begins to feel a little overwhelming.

We can take our obsession about getting our loved ones sober and turn it into an obsession with our eating, working out, sleep patterns, or counting our steps.

Things labeled as self-care items can create more chores and more expense.

I recently read an article from the Harvard Business Journal about how self-care has become so much work.

I found myself in this situation several months ago when my self-care routine became such a long checklist that it no longer felt nurturing. Self-care wasn’t filling me up, it was stressing me out and begun to feel a lot like work. It left me no room to be spontaneous.

The more health articles I read about self-care, the more things I added to the list.

Just going to bed involved a whole new routine: I had an app to track my sleep, a sound machine that was “proven to help with REM”, a scented oil to help calm my nerves, and an eye mask to help achieve total darkness.

Then I had a self-care checklist for my exercise and diet: I tracked how many miles I walked every day, counted calories and macros and micros on another app and logged my weight and inches every other week to make sure my “self-care” was “working”.

I won’t even talk about my self-care for bathing but it involved dry brushing, creams, and pomades for my body and hair.

You get the point, right? My type A personality was taking self-care to a ridiculous level that involved caring a little too much about… myself.

Until one day, I gave them all up. I deleted the apps, left the products on the shelf and started eating what made my body feel good and I ate when I wanted to without writing it down or keeping track of anything.

I sat on the couch and watched a movie and that filled me up in ways I cannot even begin to describe.

I also started sleeping in and reading books in bed. I took a break from exercising. And I purchased some blankets to lay around the house that reminded me… sit down with the kids, cuddle up and track nothing.

I also decided to delete my social media accounts on my phone (but that’s another post for another day).

Sometimes the most caring thing we can do for ourselves is spend less and simplify our days.

What is true self-care?

It’s a moment to get back to the root of ourselves.

It’s white space.

It’s when we connect to something greater than ourselves long enough to replenish our souls.

All this to say…. Self-care is a good thing. For sure. But let’s make sure what we’re doing is really feeding our souls and filling us up, not turning into something that is just another thing to conquer or accomplish.

To help you out, I’ve created a list of healthy self-care practices. These ideas come directly from the women inside our Secret Facebook Group. Sign up below to get your free Self-Care Guidesheet.

Are you ready to take your healing to the next level?

Love Over Addiction is here for you.

Join thousands of women, just like you today.

Love Over Addiction is a private self-study recovery program just for women who love someone who drinks too much or suffers from substance use disorder.

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