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Episode 26: Why Mani-pedis and glasses of wine are not self care

Transcript:

[00:00:01] OMG, "self care."

[00:00:05] Oh, was there ever a buzz word that everybody kept repeating and didn't know what it meant?

[00:00:17] Self care is a really hard one, and I think a lot of people think of "self care" as taking bubble baths or, you know, giving yourself a manicure.

[00:00:30] It's so much bigger than that. It is about prioritizing yourself, and it is about knowing that when you put everyone else first all the time, you don't have anything left for yourself. And unless you prioritize yourself and your own needs, you will never have enough for the people that you care about.

[00:00:55] I was not good at self care, even after I thought I was good at self care. I was not good at self care and . . . and here's what gave me permission to have more concern for myself. It was CANCER. And I would hope that you could get this lesson from me and not from getting cancer.

[00:01:23] Because it was not cancer that made me good at self-care, it was the permission I gave myself because I had cancer.

[00:01:33] So let me explain that a little bit. I did not think I was worth taking care of, in that . . . As a mother, I felt like what I needed to do was care for my child and I felt guilty for taking time for myself. But cancer gave me permission to take care of myself because if I didn't, then I literally didn't have enough energy to get through the day.

[00:02:08] If I didn't take care of myself, then my daughter wouldn't *have* a mother after it was all over. And now I have integrated it into my into my life so much that it's become part of who I am and it does not require any thinking.

[00:02:31] So let me explain a little bit to you about what self care means to me. Self care means boundaries. It means saying no to people. It means when something is making you uncomfortable, you stop it and you don't feel guilty about it and you don't feel the need to keep revisiting it because you said no and you said no for a good reason: it was causing you to feel upset.

[00:03:05] So let me give you a good example. My partner is one of the best people on the planet. I am not even kidding you. I mean, this man is just like . . . He's awesome. And he also is very detail-oriented and he likes to understand every single part of any issue. And then he wants to share the the details with me.

[00:03:32] Now, even before cancer, I really wasn't too much of a detail person, but after cancer, I just like, "I can't. I can't with this." And I found myself feeling really overwhelmed when we would be talking about things like our budget, or if I would bring up my business and ask him a question, he would come back with one hundred thousand details or questions that would then stress me out.

[00:03:59] And finally I realized what was happening. And I said to myself, "Oh, my God, I am missing a boundary here." So now we don't talk about my business. We we don't talk about it at all. And that might change in the future. But for now, it causes me stress. And so I say no. When it comes to our budget, he really wants a very complicated spreadsheet and I don't. And so my boundary with him was like, "I'm totally cool with the budget. I love budgeting. It's really important to me that we are financially responsible, that we don't carry debt, etc. AND . . . I don't want to use this spreadsheet.

[00:04:43] "I don't want to spend an hour during our budget meetings going over a certain level of detail. So if that's important to you, you need to do it first and then figure out a way to share it with me in like, two sentences because I can't handle it."

[00:04:59] And he has boundaries with me, too. And it's fantastic. It leaves us both with the space that we need to process things. And then we're our best selves when we come back together. He's getting the details he needs out of the budget. I'm getting the big picture. I'm confident, he's confident, that neither one of us is going over the budget, and all is well.

[00:05:27] So self care is about creating a life that you do not need to escape from. It is not about needing that bath because things are so hard or needing a glass of wine every night because things are so hard. It's about coming up with the actual base of what it is that is going to make sure that your foundation is solid and you don't need things to cope with it.

[00:05:59] So if the kids are making me insane because they keep doing the same thing over and over again, it's not about me drinking a glass of wine every night in order to deal with them. It's about me figuring out what it is that they're doing that's making me crazy and figuring out a way to put an end to it or figuring out that, like what they're doing is actually fine. And it's my work that I need to do, probably in my sanctuary closet to deal with my own anxiety.

[00:06:34] Let me see if there's anything else I need to add to this, I did make some notes that I wanted to share with you about this because honest to God, I think taking care of yourself is something so few of us do.

[00:06:45] And it isn't it isn't a female thing. It isn't a mom thing.

[00:06:49] It isn't a thing where you're like, oh, all moms don't take care of themselves.

[00:06:53] It's like it's men to y'all. It's men, too. It's all of us.

[00:06:58] We are all going so fast and trying to do so many things and feeling guilty about the things that we can't do. And guilt weighs so much. It weighs so much. We need to put it down because if you are trying to create a life that you don't need to escape from, guilt is the last thing you need. The last thing.

[00:07:29] I don't carry extra weight that is not necessary. If my brain isn't working, I don't carry the added weight of shame or guilt. Yesterday, I literally spent all day binge watching a TV show on HBO all day. I did nothing productive. Yesterday was a Wednesday. And I did that because the previous day I had a shot for my cancer prevention and it made me feel awful. And I could have tried to push through it and do all of my work and make, you know, make it work. But that would have been forcing it. And instead, I took the time that I needed for myself to do nothing and not feel guilty about it. And as a result, I'm extra productive today.

[00:08:27] So I think that is all. I would love to hear how you take care of yourself, what self care looks like to you.

[00:08:39] And it's not to say that you can't have a bubble bath or a mani pedi or energy healings or whatever it is as part of your self care ritual.

[00:08:50] That's not what I'm saying.

[00:08:52] I'm saying that you create a foundation of boundaries and knowing what you need, whether it's healthy food or whatever it is to make sure that you are not falling apart and that you don't need to cope with your life because you've created a life that is easier, that you've made it easy.

[00:09:14] So I'd love to hear how you take care of yourself, if you found this helpful at all, and also what topics you'd like me to cover in the future, because I've learned a lot of lessons over the past decade and I would love to share them with you. So thank you. I hope you're having a wonderful week.

Sara Olsher

Sara Olsher

Sara Olsher is the Founder + CEO of Mighty + Bright. She's a young cancer survivor, mom, and former single mom.

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