Type A Chronicles: When self-care is another check mark in the to do list

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. But, let’s be honest, when do I not think a lot?

 

The thing about these past few weeks is that I’ve been thinking about an irony I’m living in this moment: I am in love with practicing and teaching self-care techniques and I’ve managed to make self-care another check mark in the to do list. I know, Type A personality strikes again!

Let me give you a little bit of context.

I’ve been feeling drained and a bit resentful. Lots of working, activities, and events. I’ve been feeling tired a bit burnt out. Lots of sun, things to do, and preparations for the semester to come. I’ve been aching for that “it’s ok, it’s totally normal to feel that way!” nudge from a loved one. I’ve been secretly wishing I had a vacation I told no one about so that I can truly rest. But where is this coming from?

I have an amazing support system and I lean on them (most of the time). I’ve talked to loved ones and felt seen. I’ve done yoga and meditated. I’ve sat down and made brain dumps in my bullet journal. I’ve walked on the beach.

Somehow this has not been enough. Not knowing why, I turned to this: writing. Because I’ve always said that I am my kindest self when I write. A bunch of Word documents with seemingly incoherent sentence fragments revealed this: I’ve taken the things that nurture me (aka my self-care practices) and turned them into something more I HAVE to do.

When I’m doing yoga, I think of how these sequences can benefit my students instead of allowing myself to TRULY release and relax in my yoga practice. This in turn has made me become resentful of the students I teach because “they can enjoy their practice and I can’t”.

When I’m doing a brain dump in my bullet journal, I write all those things making me angry, sad, or stressing me out and instead of simply leaving them there, I bring in the judgement. Oh, and I’m so good at that! I am SO quick to judge an emotion or a thought just because it is not “perfect”. Then my bullet journal becomes my worst enemy.

In my personal relationships, I’m focusing solely on giving (because I love them so much!). This results in unconsciously sabotaging myself by not allowing myself to receive the same love and energy from them. This, as before, leaves me resentful because something in me feels like I’m always giving more.

That something in me? I found out what it was too! It is my inner child. That playful and happy little girl in me has become tired, hungry, and sad. And you know what happens when children become tired, hungry, and sad…All hell breaks loose.

So, here’s what I’ve learned from all of this: I’ve managed to take my favorite things in life: yoga and other self-care practices like bullet journaling and meditation and turned them into a job. Just another thing that I have to do and take care of. Initially, I felt ashamed and guilty. But now, as I write this, I know I have the power to change this.

Now that I know where I’ve gone wrong, I can come back to my self-care practices with another perspective. Self-care activities only qualify as self-care when they nurture you. So here I am, going back to basics and asking: what nurtures me? How can I approach those activates with magic, awe, and child-like curiosity? How can I connect to the magic that is self-care?

I deserve to feel full, happy, and nurtured. My inner child needs it. This Type A woman needs it.