Self-Care Isn't Selfish
Posted on April 03 2022
At the end of 2021, I invested in a Peloton Bike for myself. I set a goal of treating myself to a Peloton when my separation agreement was finalized, so it was a big milestone and accomplishment signifying the closure of one chapter of my life and the start of a new one.
I’ve had the privilege of spending a good chunk of the winter in Scottsdale, Arizona. Since I’ve been without my bike, I used the Peloton app for outdoor workouts and walks. Having the app is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fabulous Scottsdale sunshine. It keeps me motivated with fun playlists and variety as I get really bored doing the same things all the time!
I love walking and hiking because these activities help me clear my head and give me an outlet for gentle, joyful movement. They’re low impact and can be done pretty much anywhere. My pup Bentley loves to join me – it’s good bonding time for us and I feel at peace when I’ve completed a long walk or hike.
(Not me hiking - but I generally look this happy!)
During one of my outdoor walks with Peloton, the instructor was talking about changing your mindset from thinking about things that you “should” be doing to things that you WANT to be doing. This really resonated with me, as…if I’ve taken any learnings away from the pandemic…it’s to think about the things that really matter to me and what I want in my life. There are a million opinions out there on what people “should” be doing with their time. There aren’t enough hours in the day for all of the “should’s” of meal prepping, juicing, skin care routines, hand-washing all of your laundry, etc. Oh and somewhere in there, you’re supposed to earn a living, exercise and sleep. Trying to do it all is taking the fast lane to feeling overwhelmed, burnt-out and like you’re not enough.
Maybe it was the pandemic…maybe it was turning 40…maybe it was a combination of the two. The word “Busy” became a four-letter word to me. I placed it in the same category as creepy words like “moist.” Eventually I started to say no or not right now to the things that were no longer serving me or taking me off-course from my goals. I felt that I was giving up a lot of my time for other people, activities and events where I didn’t think I was getting much in return other than a packed calendar and a drained battery. My self-care was suffering, and I started feeling frustrated and resentful.
These were not easy decisions for me to make. My Type-A, high-achieving, people-pleasing nature led me to feel like I was being selfish and letting other people down, causing inherent conflict because I was also letting myself down in the process. Working through my thoughts and feelings on long walks and therapy helped sort out what I wanted to be doing versus what I thought I “should” be doing for myself and others. Once I ripped the Band-Aid and said no to the things I no longer had capacity for, it felt like a weight was lifted. Why was it such a big deal to begin with?!?
Here’s the thing…most of us have likely been taught from a young age that stating your wants and needs is selfish. Particularly for women, we’re taught to give of ourselves for others and not to speak up or set boundaries. It’s time that we flip the script and stop the guilt and shame that comes with putting ourselves first. Looking after yourself and your needs is not selfish! Making yourself and your self-care a priority is not selfish!
What are some self-care goals you’re working towards? Are there things you could say no to or pause and invest that time into yourself? Comment below or drop me a note – let’s cheer each other on!
P.S. I plan to blog more about Peloton in the future. In the meantime, if you’re interested in checking out the app, here’s a 60-Day Guest Pass on me! (There are strength, yoga, meditation, outdoor walking and running classes. You don't need the bike or tread to use the app!)
I also highly recommend joining these Facebook groups to interact with other like-minded Pelotoners:
My handle is aymierondeau – I am always looking for accountability and workout partners. Be sure to follow me if you’re on the Peloton app!
What’s Coming Up?
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Until next time – be well!