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The Dangers of Self-Neglect and “Postponing” Self-Care: How to Start Making YOU a Priority

Do most days feel like a struggle just to make it to the end? You’re overworked and overwhelmed. Even laying your tired head against your soft pillow does little to diminish the buzzing in your head. Deep down, you know the remedy has nothing to do with the softness of your pillow. The more likely […]

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Self-Neglect vs. Self-Care

Do most days feel like a struggle just to make it to the end?

You’re overworked and overwhelmed. Even laying your tired head against your soft pillow does little to diminish the buzzing in your head.

Deep down, you know the remedy has nothing to do with the softness of your pillow. The more likely culprit is that you’re neglecting your well-being.

You’re not making YOU a priority.

You already know that taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually is critical. Each is a pillar to well-being — when one falls, the others are soon to follow.

So why do you continuously swing back and forth between periods of overwork and overwhelm to “catching up” on sleep and relaxation? Play this game for long enough and you’ll seriously burn out.

Follow the tips in this article and you could finally break that cycle and make self-care a daily priority. 

Truly Understanding the Consequences of Self-Neglect

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms of self-neglect?

  • You’re on autopilot: Your day feels like a blur. You’re going through the motions, each action absent of creativity, purpose, or joy.
  • Other people’s needs come before yours: You continuously serve others before serving yourself. Now you’re noticing that your well is drying up and you have nothing left to give.
  • Every day feels like playing catch-up: It feels like you’re always behind in attending to your responsibilities, and you just can’t catch up. This frantic pace keeps you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
  • Your mind swings between haze and chaos: Some days, you feel like you’re trapped in a thick brain fog. Other days, you feel like your mind is racing at a thousand miles an hour.
  • You’re physically burned out: Long-term stress and overwhelm lead to body aches, muscle tension, and low energy. Your mental and emotional overwhelm have become physical manifestations.So often, we get stuck in autopilot, scrambling to get things done, and we don’t notice muscle tension or mental exhaustion until it’s too late.

So often, we get stuck in autopilot, scrambling to get things done, and we don’t notice muscle tension or mental exhaustion until it’s too late. 

Recall the times within the past few months when you’ve experienced these symptoms. Remember the heaviness in your lids as you pushed yourself to work another hour. Experience the haze in your mind as you reread the same sentence over and over. Feel the intense desire to stay in bed, so you could hide from the day’s responsibilities.

I ask you to relive these scenarios because this is what happens when you neglect your body. These are the risks you assume when you “postpone” self-care.

Maintaining your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health is not a chore to push aside. It’s not a thing on your to-do list that you’ll get to “when you have time.”

Your body is a living organism worth honoring — not another item on your checklist.

Yet, why do you continue in these self-sabotaging cycles?

Why Do We Continue to Neglect Our Well-Being (Even When We Know Better)?

Much of it has to do with guilt or shame around valuing yourself.

Often, people mistakenly believe that self-care and self-compassion are selfish. After all, shouldn’t you focus your energy on helping others rather than yourself?

If you’ve been putting self-care on the back burner, you might be feeding this negative stigma. However, this mindset is working against you.

“When we fill our time with responsibilities and constantly prioritize the needs of others over our own, we can drain ourselves of energy and desire,” says Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. in Psychology Today.

Caring for yourself is one of the most incredible things you can do for yourself and others. When you empower yourself, you’ll have greater strength, energy, and desire to share your gifts with the people around you. 

Each time you find yourself feeling guilty, tell yourself, When I care for and love myself, I am better able to care for and love others.

But self-care isn’t going to magically weave itself into your daily life. These tips will help you take conscious actions that make your well-being a priority every single day.

3 Tips That Encourage You To Make YOU a Priority

#1 Check in With Your Body More Often

A common reason why you might be pushing yourself too hard is that you don’t listen to what your body is saying until it’s too late. This often happens when your brain runs on autopilot — each day blurs into the next, as you focus on checking things off your to-do list.

A mental body scan helps you tune into your body. Follow these steps to help you experience what your body is telling you:

  1. Lay down.
  2. Take several deep breaths into your belly, breathing in through your nose and exhaling slowly from your mouth.
  3. Bring awareness to your toes. Observe any sensations such as tingling, pain, or tightness.
  4. As you become conscious of these sensations, breathe into them and notice what occurs. You may feel the sensation subside or even receive a message from this area.
  5. Repeat this process throughout your body, moving from your toes to the crown of your head.

Try doing this once each day – find a time that works best for you.

The more you listen to your body, the better you will understand what it’s asking of you. For example, a tense neck and shoulders might tell you to stretch more if you’re sitting at a desk all day. Or you might get the message to drink more water.

#2 Make Weekly Appointments with YOURSELF

Lack of time is one reason why so many women fail to take care of their bodies. That’s why I recommend putting it as a non-negotiable event on your calendar.

You make appointments with your doctor, attend meetings for work, and show up for family-related events.

You’re always showing up for others. What about showing up for yourself?

Prioritizing yourself is about putting YOU on your calendar and showing up on time, ready to care and love yourself.

Therefore, set a dedicated time for self-care. I’m serious! Go to your calendar and write in “self-care”. It may be your entire Saturday, or it may be for an hour every day after work. Try experimenting and choose what works for you.

But most importantly, stick to your self-care appointments. Some days, it may be tempting to cancel on yourself and squeeze in another hour of work. However, self-care will only make a noticeable difference when you declare it as a non-negotiable practice in your life.

#3 Seek Support When You Need It

Earlier, we talked about feeling guilt or shame around valuing yourself. You may feel similar emotions when asking for help.

Instead of relying on the help of others, you attempt to shoulder everything yourself.

But receiving help isn’t a sign of weakness.  In fact, asking for help can be one of the kindest things you choose for yourself because it helps you show up even more for those you love. If you’re still struggling to make yourself a priority (even though you’re aware it’s what you truly need to do), getting more support may be exactly what’s required for you to experience more balance and fulfillment.

So, if you’re practicing self-care regularly and not experiencing the peace and renewal you desire… Or if you need more guidance to bring additional structure and balance into your life… 

Ask for the assistance you need and allow yourself to receive it.

If you’re ready to overcome self-neglect and embrace self-care as a lifestyle, and require additional support, claim a Complimentary “Prioritize Yourself Breakthrough” Discovery session with me. 

In this 60-minute consultation, you’ll:

  • Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you’re no longer neglecting yourself
  • Get simple and practical tips for how to prioritize yourself with ease (starting immediately)
  • Tap into self-care for greater energy, ease, and joy
  • Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.

Click here now to claim your Complimentary “Prioritize Yourself Breakthrough” Discovery session.

Special note: I’m so excited to unveil a preview of Accelerated Evolution, my most effective coaching tool! Accelerated Evolution has changed my life and can change yours too. That’s why, at the end of the month, I’ll give you an opportunity to have an experience of these tools firsthand. So stay tuned…

And in the meantime, if you’re ready to find out how these tools can help you now, click here to schedule a “Breakthrough Struggle to Claim Ease” Discovery session with me.

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