Getting to your best self requires time, patience, love, and allowing. There's also 2 very important, and often neglected phases, you must go through.
If you've been neglecting self-care for most (or all) of your life, you're likely feeling it.
Lack of self-care will show up in many forms and make no mistake about it, it will ALWAYS show up. It may show up as dark circles under your eyes that never seem to go away or skin that has lost its luster. It may show up as weight gain that you can't ever seem to manage no matter what you do. Or perhaps it shows up as exhaustion, continued feelings of overwhelm, lack of patience or feeling easily frustrated. It might also show up as a sense of being bored in your life or experiencing lack of joy. Or illness.
There are so many ways that your lack of self-care will present itself in your life and in your body.
Decades of neglecting self requires time and phases that you must go through in order to get to the healthy, vibrant, energized state that you're so desiring.
In our North American culture, we're addicted the quick fix. We love 30-day programs that promise to give us what we're searching for. We're also easily attracted to the new, shiny, and exciting things. And we live with the, 'take a pill and make me feel better,' mentality. The truth is that those things are short-lived.
To receive sustainable, lasting results requires consistency and time. There is no short cut. There is no quick fix.
You need to give your body time to physically heal so that it can be in a state where it has the opportunity to thrive.
You need to do your emotional healing work so that you can be in a state where you have the opportunity to thrive.
If you've been neglecting self-care for a long time (decades), there's 2 key phases you need to go through; Restore and Re-balance.
Restore and Re-Balance Phases:
Restore Phase - The word restore means, to give back or return to.
When you're in the restore phase, which BTW could be a few months or perhaps even a few years, you're allowing your body to heal. To heal both physically and emotionally. This is the time when you slow down and decompress from the highly adrenalized, ultra-busy life you've likely been living. It's time to come down from the constant going and doing and being. It's where you become still. You move slower and sleep more. You begin exploring the deep parts of yourself that you've always been too busy for in the past.
During the Restore Phase, you go deep within learning and understanding the patterns in your life that don't best serve you.
The habits that you may have unconsciously created because they're what you experienced growing up. Though these may have served you for a while, you now know that ultimately they don't help you live your best life.
Re-Balance Phase - After restoring, you'll naturally find yourself moving into the Re-Balance Phase.
This is when your life begins to come into balance. Where it was once off-kilter a bit before, it begins to straighten up. You may even notice during this phase that physically you begin to stand or sit taller.
During the Re-Balance Phase there's a letting go or 'shedding of old skin' that happens.
You'll naturally find yourself releasing the old that you know no longer works for you. This opens up space for the new to come in. The new patterns, habits, or practices that serve you and help your body to thrive.
It's from here that you'll move into Renewal, the final phase.
Renewal Phase - This is where we all want to be.
Renewal is the place where you feel your best and most alive. You have energy. You're healthy and your life is vibrant and thriving.
We all want to experience this though many are not willing to do the work to get here. Most want to bypass Restore and Re-balance because those phases are challenging. They aren't quick and easy. We'll tell ourselves we don't have time for that. Often, we aren't patient enough to allow ourselves to go through these 2 phases. Or, we feel intimidated at the thought of allowing ourselves to feel and heal. Yet, it's all so necessary.
Without Restore and Re-balance, you can't achieve authentic Renewal.
You simply cannot go from that overwhelmed, depleted, worn-out place and be in a renewed place that lasts. That has longevity. In order to be continually thriving and living your best, most authentic self, you must be willing to give your body the time it requires to heal and come back to its optimal state. And, you must be willing to continue caring for yourself as you move through the rest of your life.
Have you been through the Restore and Re-Balance Phases? If so, leave a comment and let me know the biggest lesson you learned. I'd love to hear from you!
If you love this blog, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it so that others can benefit from reading it as well. Thank you.
Looking for more tips to help you live well? Check out Your Live Well Journey - The Podcast, every episode offers ways to help you improve your self-care.