How to Care Better for Yourself Without Changing What You DoSep 16, 2022
What can we do to care for ourselves compassionately without adding more to our already stretched routines?
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing author and renowned mindfulness expert Professor Shauna Shapiro.
In the interview (which you can read here), she spoke so openly about challenges, including a back injury and her divorce, and how self-compassion transformed her life.
She spoke about a transformational model for mindfulness. She highlighted how mindfulness is not just about paying attention to the present moment, it's about bringing the right attitude and intention to it.
It struck me - we can use this same model for self-care.
If we change our attitude and intentions around self-care, we can reap the full rewards.
Here are 2 simple ways to better care for yourself to avoid burnout.
1. Intention for growth
Don't grow because you think you should be better, grow because you love to grow.
Neuroscience shows us that shame shuts down the learning centres of our brain. If we believe we should be better, self-care is unlikely to be beneficial because the intention is not to grow, it's the avoidance of shame.
We grow for internal fulfilment, not external validation.
We miss the point if we are more concerned with looking like we engage with self-care rather than actually engaging with self-care.
We rarely think about our intention. But, as Shauna writes in her book 'Good Morning, I Love You', merely setting the intention to be happier increases dopamine, a neurochemical in our brain. Dopamine is the 'molecule of more' and is therefore powerful in habit formation.
Why do you engage in self-care?
2. Attitude of compassion
An attitude of compassion permeates all our coaching. If we adopt an attitude of self-blame in our self-care, we lose all the benefits.
An attitude of compassion is demonstrated not just in WHAT actions you perform but in HOW you perform those actions.
Do you rush making yourself a hot drink? Do you meditate but shame yourself for not doing it right? Do you walk through nature looking at your phone?
A slight shift in attitude can have dramatic effects. It's why self-compassion research demonstrates that it reduces anxiety, depression, burnout, breakups and obesity.
How would your future compassionate self move? Start embodying that. The way we move is a great reflection of our internal chatter.
This video will give you a new model to approach self-care so you can feel better without doing more.
"Don't grow because you think you should be better, grow because you love to grow."
How would your more compassionate future self move their body?
f you truly loved yourself, how would you engage with your self-care?