Today’s AWAP Wednesday* video answers a question from a fellow ChronicBabe. She wrote, essentially, that despite knowing that she needs to bathe daily, she has lost motivation to do so.

I think there are three main reasons we, as ChronicBabes, sometimes falter in our self care. In today’s video, I examine the three reasons… and offer some guidance on how to use our “sacred practices” to get back on track.

Check out the video now:

Now it’s your turn:

What are YOUR sacred practices? How do you take steps to make sure your self care game is strong? I’d love it if you shared your story in the comments below this video’s post. We have AWESOME conversations every day at the site and I would LOVE for you to be part of the community! Did you like this video? Please “like” it on YouTube or Facebook and share it with your friends through social media.

Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than five and a half hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers.

Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email.

Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! *AWAP = As Well As Possible

A (rough) transcript:

Today’s AWAP Wednesday* video answers a question from a fellow ChronicBabe, about an issue that I think many of us ChronicBabes face. She wrote, essentially, that despite knowing that she needs to bathe daily, she has lost motivation to do so.

I think there are three main reasons we, as ChronicBabes, sometimes falter in our self care. First, I want to say that I totally know what it means to falter in our self care, to not want to take care of yourself. Maybe some people watching this video won’t understand, but I think a lot of us DO understand what it’s like to know that we should take a few extra steps to take care of ourselves, and then not taking those steps and not really quite knowing why. This is something I experience in my own life, and that I know a lot of you experience too, so I’m going to take a run at identifying some of the reasons why.

Depression and chronic illness self care

One of the primary causes of this behavior — where we choose not to take care of ourselves — is depression. It’s really common for those of us with illness to also have depression, and that’s a really understandable situation. The thing about depression is that it keeps us from taking good care of ourselves. But once we can get into a good rhythm of taking care of ourselves, it helps with the depression. You can see where there’s a vicious circle there, and I like to turn that circle around and start reinforcing good self care behaviors.

* If you think you are experiencing depression, please seek help from a medical professional like your primary care physician or a therapist. *

Societal pressures and chronic illness self care

Another thing that keeps many women from taking these self care steps is societal pressure to take care of everyone else before we take care of ourselves. If you’re a mom, you might feel like you have to take care of your kids first. If you’re partnered, you may feel like you need to take care of your spouse first, or maybe even if you have aging parents, they may come first. And then all your energy is gone and you have no energy for yourself.

I say that’s baloney! We’ve got to take care of ourselves. We can’t take care of others if we neglect our own self care.

Losing hope… and neglecting self care

Many of us are so sick of not feeling well, we start to lose hope. We start to get so desperate that we’re never going to feel better so we decide that it’s not even worth it to take small efforts to feel better. If might seem counterintuitive, but we get so frustrated with trying to feel better all the time and then when we don’t, it drives us a little crazy… and then it’s like, well why bother bathing if we’re going to feel so bad!

I understand why some of us do that, but we’re really harming ourselves when we make that choice.

Create and honor your “sacred practices”

For our dear fellow ChronicBabe who wrote in about needing motivation to bathe, who can’t seem to find the energy to do it (and I think she means mental energy as well as physical energy), I find that the “sacred practices” I’ve talked about in a previous video will be a really big help.

This practice is about identifying the things you MUST DO every day to take care of yourself. And then freakin’ doing them. Because they are sacred. These are the things we have to do to keep ourselves well and keep us going, whatever “well” looks like that day. For me, today, I did not wash my hair… but I DID bathe, because that’s one of my sacred practices. My sacred practices include meditation, exercise, having a green smoothie, staying in touch with friends… and I’ve done all of those so far today, so I’m feeling pretty good!

When we create that foundational practice, it becomes a habit, it becomes a routine. So we need to kickstart that habit, and the way we do it is for me TO SHOUT “DO IT!!!!” Nah, just kidding.

The way that we kickstart that habit is to really get quiet with ourselves and identify what those sacred practices are. And then we create physical reminders that live in our most frequented-spaces (watch my other video for tips) so we get constant encouragement.

And then I think social accountability is really important. I’ve been working out every day for the past couple weeks, and every day I post something to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter…and I get SO MUCH encouragement from y’all! I encourage you, once you’ve set up your sacred practices, to tell someone. Your sister, your friend, your mom, your partner – tell someone who will ask you about them later and hold you accountable.