Is it self-care if it’s stressful?

Education, Experiences

Probably not…

Let’s talk self-care. More importantly – is self-care really self-care if it’s stressful?

When you’re clear about what serves you, you don’t have to buy what everyone (experts, gurus, celebrities, influencers, etc.) else is selling. Sounds simple in theory, but I have weekly conversations with clients about self-care. Here are some common questions:

  1. What is it?
  2. Does it have to be yoga?
  3. How much time does it take?
  4. How do I know if it’s woking?

I remember a few years ago I was asking myself similar questions, and the word that kept coming up for me was – balance.

But the thing was, I didn’t want to just find balance, I wanted to get self-care down. I wanted to master it, perfect it, and then move on to conquer some other life topic.

…Are you starting to sense the impending anxiety? I know I am just typing this… 

My journey to perfecting self-care began with research. If you’re thinking, “Why didn’t you start with yourself and asking you what YOU needed?”

Ha! You’re so right and an emotional genius, but that was not my experience.

I began my research with a self-selected list of people that seemed to model taking care of themselves while also making impact in the world with the work they were doing: Oprah, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Elizabeth Gilbert, Kris’s Carr, Marie Forleo, and Stephen King. A random, hodgepodge, of authors, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and Oprah (a class all to herself).

My “research” comprised of Googling them, reading their content, streaming online videos/interviews, listening to their podcasts, and reading their books.

Coming out of research mode, I was starting to feel confident that I had a good handle on what Danielle’s perfectly balanced self-care system 2.0 would look like:

  1. Wake up at 5:30am (because that’s what you have to do to be successful) – 3:00am if you’re Dolly Parton. 4:30am if your Glennon Doyle.
  2. Contemplate the universe, mediate, and journal (because you have to be spiritually connected to be in a state of creative flow).
  3. Drink lemon water, make green juice, then coffee (the jury is still out on whether coffee was allowed, but I made a compromise). This is balance Ph, jump start healthy digestion, and the coffee was for survival…Did I mention that this process started at 5:30am in the MORNING?!
  4. Do yoga, then cardio, and weight train.
  5. Now, your creative work begins.  Stephen King writes at least 4hrs a day, Elizabeth Gilbert made a contract with her creative genius that she would commit to writing everyday, even for just a half hour, and while I was making this list Gary Vaynerchuk already published another book. Side note: processing this memory has left me sitting with a blank expression on my face (on cup of coffee number 3) and staring at my computer screen.
  6. Business time.  This step will be the rest of the day.  Map out your to-do list, accomplish it all, eat a healthy meal for lunch that you prepped the Sunday before, and keep working, never stop working while listening to Rihanna sing “Work, work, work, work, work…” (Now I’m stress sweating and becoming mentally exhausted).
  7. Come home, connect with nature, walk your dogs, contemplate your place in the universe some more, drink a cup of Oprah chai tea, read a book (because somehow everyone I researched seemed to be finishing at least one book a week), and go to bed (because you’re waking up in 5hrs to start the day over again).

This process was exhausting, and FOR ME, 100% unrealistic.

Ultimately, issue wasn’t that I wanted to learn from successful people, nor was the issue with wanting to be the best version of myself.  

I was trying so hard to “get it right” that I stopped listening to myself in the process. I was also holding myself to a self-care-standard that had taken these other people years to cultivate.  

There is true value to wanting to learn from people or call on an expert. But no one knows more about you THAN YOU.

I often remind clients that thinking our way through a problem alone isn’t where we find solutions. It’s awareness coupled with action that really helps us know:

This feels good to me right now.

This does not feel good to me right now.

This felt good to me before, but it doesn’t anymore.

Here are the answers to my most frequently asked self-care questions:

  1. What is it? Truly, intentionally, and thoughtfully giving yourSELF the care and attention you need at that given moment in time.
  2. Does it have to be yoga? No.
  3. How much time does it take? Probably more time than you’ll allow when you’re really struggling. It can also be a short as a deep breath or drinking a glass of water.
  4. How do I know if it’s woking? You feel better. Better can be – relief, relaxed, energized, enthusiastic, etc.

4 examples of what self-care looks like for me

  1. Journaling.
  2. Taking a walk, or taking a deep breath outside.
  3. Curling up with a good book.
  4. Meditating (15mins)

What does self-care look like for you? I’d love to know. The best things in life are shared.

  1. Brianunusa says:

    Wow, beautiful site. Thnx …

  2. Brianunusa says:

    Maintain the exceptional job !! Lovin’ it!

  3. Jamesfer says:

    Really wanted to stress Now i am ecstatic I happened upon your webpage.

  4. Royal CBD says:

    I’m really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever
    run into any browser compatibility issues? A few of my blog audience have complained about my website not
    working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox.
    Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?

  5. William says:

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your weblog.

    You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some
    articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to
    mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.

  6. Madalynn says:

    Do you have any video of that? I’d like to find out some additional information.

  7. Mary says:

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after looking at many of the articles I
    realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly pleased
    I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  8. Christian says:

    Very soon this web site will be famous amid all blogging
    and site-building viewers, due to it’s fastidious posts

  9. Raegan says:

    What’s up to every body, it’s my first visit of this weblog; this web site includes amazing and genuinely excellent
    information designed for readers.

  10. Hannah says:

    Fantastic items from you, man. I’ve consider your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful.
    I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way during which you are saying it.

    You are making it entertaining and you continue to take care of to keep it sensible.
    I can’t wait to read much more from you. That is really a
    wonderful site.

  11. Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out.

    Please let me know where you got your design. Bless you

  12. Rory says:

    Inspiring quest there. What happened after? Thanks!

  13. Emilie says:

    My partner and I stumbled over here by a different page and thought I might as well
    check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following
    you. Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.

  14. Addison says:

    Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host
    are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  15. Henrik says:

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Vivian says:

    Good day I am so delighted I found your blog, I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Yahoo for
    something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like
    to say many thanks for a remarkable post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the
    theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at
    the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have
    time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the superb work.

  17. Mabel says:

    I pay a quick visit day-to-day some websites and blogs to read articles or reviews,
    except this webpage offers quality based content.

  18. Sebastian says:

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site.

    I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back yet again since I
    bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  19. Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this information.

  20. Ariana says:

    excellent issues altogether, you just won a new reader. What might you recommend in regards to your put
    up that you simply made some days in the past? Any positive?

  21. Excellent way of describing, and good paragraph to get facts concerning my presentation focus, which i
    am going to present in institution of higher education.

  22. Thanks a lot for the article. Cool.

  23. Dorothy says:

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually understand what you’re speaking about!
    Bookmarked. Kindly additionally visit my website =).
    We will have a link trade contract between us

  24. This article offers clear idea in support of the new people of blogging, that genuinely how to do blogging.

  25. Skincell says:

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  26. cuong hiep says:

    Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but,
    I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  27. Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of
    the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I
    think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both
    show the same results.

  28. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post plus the rest of the site is also very good.

  29. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.
    I’m hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal
    site now 😉

  30. I am so grateful for your blog. Much obliged.

Leave a Reply


Weekly Doses of Encouragement