Committing to Self-Care

Commitment to Self-Care

Written By Sarah Hodges

Commitment to Self-Care

Traditional Commitment

There’s a lot of talk about commitment in the health and wellness community.  The message is that no matter what’s going on in your life, you just have to stick with your commitments in order to “get results.”

Sounds easy, right?

Unfortunately, oftentimes a blind commitment to general health and wellness advice can be very stressful to the body.  

For example, what if we commit to running every morning, but we suffer from a sore back?  Or what if we commit to cutting out a major food group, but our brain was relying on energy from that particular food group to keep us focused throughout the day?  

Is this really self-care?  Would we force a child to run if it caused them pain?  We cut out a child’s food group if it caused them to be sluggish and unfocused?

It may seem like a good idea to get more exercise or cut out glucose, but without careful consideration, we can easily “commit” to new habits that actually harm us.  Then when we give up, we feel like a failure… when the reality is that quitting these harmful habits is an act of self-care!!

Commitment to Self-Care

When we reevaluate our commitments through the lens of self-love and self-care, we get a very different picture.  We may still decide to adjust our diet or get more exercise, but the intention changes the action. 

For example, instead of cutting out a major food group, we might look for ways to include healthier foods with more micronutrients to energize our bodies with high-quality food.  And instead of running with a bad back, we may look into core-strengthening exercises or swimming for cardio.

These new habits would be beneficial to the body, and they reflect an attitude of self-love and self-care.  Committing to them would be easier because instead of adding stress to our lives, these commitments would alleviate stress, contributing to an overall feeling of well-being.  

Most importantly, the commitments we make to ourselves with the intention of self-care are absolutely unique to our individual needs.  What is right for one is not right for all.

That’s why a commitment to continual self-care is more important than a commitment to a particular action.

How do I Begin?

Ask/Tell yourself the following:

#1. “If I were caring for myself as though I were my own child, what moderate healthy habits could I begin with?”

#2. “Making lifestyle changes can be challenging.  So what is the absolute bare minimum I can commit to?”

#3. “If I miss days or struggle to stick to this habit, I give myself permission to adjust the habit to something I can more easily commit to.”

#4. “Eventually, every mother stops changing her child’s diapers.  My self-care will also change with time, age, maturity, and self-love.  I commit to overall self-care more than I commit to this particular habit.”

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