So, you know yourself. You have solid history of “healthy eating” and “regular exercise”. Maybe you lost all the weight that one time. Or more than one time. Or identified the allergy that was keeping you from clear digestion and energy. Maybe you finally separated your need for affection from your desire to fill your plate and you really, truly, get it…
And yet, you still find yourself napping when you need movement, moving when you need a nap, living on coffee, revisiting the bingeing, craving the dairy, the sugar, the whole bag, box, plate, buffet… you know. You’re tired. You deserve it. And resistance is futile.
Good news. You aren’t broken.
I know, I know. It’s weird and confusing how we can be so prone to choosing the things that we know for a fact aren’t good for us.
But we aren’t really in a fair fight. The world we live in is actually designed to make us want. And a culture that cultivates such longing, isolation, and fear is legitimately exhausting.
It’s possible to be stronger, faster, leaner, and more ready to fight for what you love. Even in a world that would prefer you to be broke, lethargic, and compliant. Promise.
But you have to get clear on some stuff.
A little known (and often forgotten) fact: Willpower is finite.
Have you heard of Decision Fatigue?
Decision Fatigue is the loss of willpower after having to make many decisions.
And we are constantly, relentlessly, making decisions.
What will you eat, wear, think, look at, read, ride, drive, buy, carry, marry, say, write, scroll, click, want want want… every single second something is vying for your attention and you are choosing, consciously or subconsciously, to review, engage, discard, delete. And there are decisions on top of those decisions. How do I feel about this decision I just made? How will other people feel about this decision I just made? Was it good enough? Am I good enough? Will this decision kill my child? Will this get me killed/raped? And if you happen to be a color besides white, you likely have the constant hum of abject dehumanization rolling around your amygdala.
This stuff is real, legitimate stress. And its result is that you stop being able to make the choices that require willpower.
Just talking about it makes me want to melt cheese on something.
So, when it comes to your “self care” it’s vital to remember that it isn’t just about commitment, consistency, and powering through.
Self care has to be an ability to prioritize yourself with recognition, allowance, and understanding.
Recognition that you are inundated and the things on your plate are legitimately consuming your energy.
Allowance that you are a human with a limited capacity for multitasking, decision-making, and empathy.
And understanding that you are using the tools you have, the tools that have worked best and most immediately for you for all these years.
It just makes sense that you would eat all the chocolate drizzled kettle corn.
Remember, self care is not selfish. They are not synonyms. Self care is the thing you do so you aren’t a walking vortex of starvation needing a savior. Self care is the thing you do so you can show up with integrity and be an active member of humanity. Your self care is a service to the world. You do it so others don’t have to do it for you.
So here are some little ways to streamline your life so you have fewer daily decisions to make, and fewer decisions to send you into a spiral of self doubt.
- This is easier said than done, but stop judging your decisions. When you make one, do your homework and then trust your instincts. Does it carry you closer or farther away from who you want to be? Choose closer. Then keep stepping.
- Systematize as much as you can. Wear a “uniform”. Find your style. Get key pieces that fit perfectly and wear them over and over. You are walking zero runways. No one cares if you wear that dress and those boots all week long.
- Use an easy meal planner and don’t feel like you have to make ALL THE THINGS. You can rotate through just a few meals and spice them up with condiments. (This one from Rosyblu is A+.)
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time.
- Exercise. I don’t care how much or how little. Just move your body without questions or a bunch of drama. It gets you *closer* to who you want to be every time. So do it.
- Limit the time you spend scrolling. Scrolling is like making a zillion tiny micro-decisions. And while it can feel relaxing for your brain, it just isn’t. Go bath, nap, read, meditate, stare at the wall, or cuddle your partner, kids, pets, pillows, or plants.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Stop reading advice. Feel free to stop reading this if it’s making you feel more, rather than less, stressed out. You don’t need any more fucking advice. It’s more likely encouragement, validation, or feedback you need. Get clear on that and find it. You can save advice for when you need something very specific. Then, if it’s sound, take it and put it into action.
- You might need an ally. Sometimes you just can’t do another thing. The fatigue has taken over. That’s why there are health coaches.
Perhaps we should be working together. Shoot me an email. Or just say hello. I love hearing from you.
*This image is amazing street art by Bronik.