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Sometimes in life, we need a little kick in the butt to help bring us back to reality. This is especially true for those of us to spend out life trying to help other people. Every so often, we need to take a break and treat ourselves. Here are two principles you can use to check in with you own personal self-care.
First, treat yourself the way you would tell someone else to treat themselves. That sentence is a mouthful, so let it sink in for a moment. This is different than treat others the way you want to be treated. What we mean is think of the advice you would give someone else. Then, consider whether you live by, or should live by, that advice. If your mother is sick, you would tell her to go to the doctor. What would you do if you were sick? Would you go to the doctor? If not, why not? Why don’t you hold yourself to the same level of care that you hold your mother?
Admit it, you are better at taking care of someone else than you are at taking care of yourself. We all are. Perhaps worse, we are better at telling someone else what to do to take care when we would never do it ourselves. Here’s an easy gym-related example. We all know we should do mobility/recovery work. We are quick to tell someone else that they should do mobility/recovery work. However, we rarely do it ourselves. The same can be said for diet and nutrition. We know what we shouldn’t eat, like that piece of cake. It is easy for us to tell someone else to avoid the cake. However, then we go grab the cake ourselves. Why don’t we hold ourselves to the same standard?
Second, stop comparing yourself to others. Instead, compare yourself only to an earlier version of yourself. Comparison is the theft of all joy. Why? Because you will never be a good as you think someone else is. In this world of social media, everyone looks perfect all the time. When, in reality, they spent hours doing it over and over again, checking that everything was perfect, just to record a 1 minute video. You think your friend’s marriage is better than yours. However, you never see what happens when you aren’t around. You think an fellow member is so much stronger than you. But, you don’t consider how long they’ve been focused on building strength through extra work.
To avoid this, track your life and compare yourself only to earlier versions of yourself. Then, you will know where you have improved and where you need to put more effort. This is what we do with CrossFit training at IA. We record all of our workouts, our times, our rounds, our weights. When the same, or similar, workout comes up again, we have data for comparison to earlier versions of ourselves, no others.
For more information on these two principles, check out our latest episode of The Stronger Revolution, “Treat Yourself with Care.”