Yesterday night, I was in a bit of a funk. I had a stomach ache and my mood was low, and all I wanted to do was sit around and binge The Good Place (which I did, for most of the night).
At one point while I was cooking dinner, I was listening to a video from a new-to-me channel, Lavendaire. In it, she talked about making a list of all the activities you could do that would make you feel proud of yourself. Not the things that would make you feel happy, the ones that would make you feel proud. She goes on to say that the things that will make us feel proud of ourselves usually take quite a bit more effort and intention than things that will make us happy.
This feels similar to the distinction between self-care and self-indulgence. True self-care might take more effort, but it is ultimately more effective for our wellbeing and our confidence in the long run than giving ourselves every little thing we think we might want or “deserve”.
It also reminded me of my Super Seven habits (now 8! I added flossing), an idea borrowed from Amy Young. Most days, I don’t do all eight activities, but I’ve implemented a rule with myself that I can’t complain about my life or whine about my mood unless I’ve done at least 5/8 activities on my list. They are incredibly effective!
Self-care can sometimes feel so hard and overwhelming to me. I’m constantly questioning whether I’m “doing it right” and fretting about why I still have ups and downs in my mood. Even though on The Life Coach School podcast they talk all the time about life being 50/50 positive and negative emotion, no matter how successful you become, there’s still part of me that can’t internalize that idea.
But it feels easier to reach for the feeling of pride in myself. I know what that looks like. I know how that feels in my body. I know what I could do, by the end of today, to feel more proud of myself. It’s a subtle shift, but one that feels intrinsically more motivating to me to work towards. What would make me feel proud of myself today?