Self Care: Are You Making These Mistakes?

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I know I'm not the only one who felt this way.

Caught up in my day to day, in my daughter, in my marriage, in my work – trying to do it all while also struggling inside every day with physical pain that felt like it would never end.

The good news is that it did end.

It ended when I finally found the courage to practice self-care and when, after stumbling through what it means and what actually works, I managed to heal myself.

And the best part?

Once I finally overcame pelvic pain, a challenging medical condition, I was able to support over 14,000 women who went through the same journey and found their way to a pain-free life.

If I never prioritized self-care, I never could have been there for these women and do work that I feel brings actual value to their lives. I want the same for you. I want you to live your wildest dreams as the QUEEN that you are, so to give you a shortcut, I made a list for you of mistakes women (and men) often make when practicing self care.

Skip these mistakes, so you can focus on creating the life you dream to live.

 

Catch my recent FB Live Pelvic Power Hour, where I  broke down my Self Care Manifesto and answered live questions. Special Gift if you type SELFCARE in the comments!

 

Self Care is Not Selfish

Let's get this myth out of the way because many of us have felt the cringing guilt in our gut at least at some point when considering self care. Self care is NOT selfish.

No matter what's important to you in your life – your kids, your friends, your career – if your own cup isn't full, you can't pour into these areas. If you're barely surviving your days because you're in excruciating pain, you can't thrive professionally and can't help your loved ones thrive either.

Self-care is not selfish. It's the only way to claim your queendom, heal your pain and realize any dream you've got.

 

Self Care is Not Unkind

If you're struggling with accepting that self-care is a basic necessity, it's possible you're hard on yourself when you can't do everything you want to do.

It's OK to challenge yourself to grow beyond what you perceive as your current limitations, of course. But it's not helpful to do it in a way that jeopardizes your recovery or prolongs your healing journey unnecessarily, and it's certainly not helpful to be unkind to yourself and beat yourself up because you're not “there” yet, or you don't have the desires you used to have when you weren't constantly struggling with pain.

Being unkind to yourself won't get you “there” faster.

 

Catch my recent FB Live Pelvic Power Hour, where I  broke down my Self Care Manifesto and answered live questions. Special Gift if you type SELFCARE in the comments!

Self Care is Not About the Hustle

If you're trying to make any dream come true – whether it's to heal chronic pain or make a career change – you know you need to put in the work. And I'll talk more about it in a bit. But it's important to clarify that it's not about working yourself to exhaustion.

Specifically, when you're trying to heal a medical condition, you also want to make sure you don't overdo yourself to the point that you cause additional damage.

Patience is something that's really challenging to practice when you're in so much pain, but learning to listen to your body and honoring what it asks of you is a critical step toward healing.

Self Care is Not About Dwelling on Your Pain

Sometimes, it's important to take some time and just honor how you're feeling. Struggling with strong pain is not the easiest way to get through your day to day. It's OK to feel that it's hard, it's OK to cry, it's OK to take a break from it all or sleep off a particularly challenging day or afternoon.

Just don't stay there.

Acknowledge how amazing your body is for dealing with all this and still carrying you through, then find a way to give it a little more of what it needs to take the next step toward healing.

Self Care is (Unfortunately) Not About Comfort Food or Retail Therapy

When you've worked so hard to heal, and things are still going nowhere, it makes sense to look for that one moment of joy, where you feel comforted or even happy. You've more than earned it.

And like with anything else we're talking about today, it's absolutely understandable and OK to have these moments. Yet true healing, that lasts way longer than a quick moment, is about going deeper than what we might want sometimes. It's about learning what our bodies need to move toward healing, from healthier nutrition to exercise routines that actually make a difference.

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Self Care Often Can't Just Be Squeezed Into a Busy Life

Even when you finally find some exercises that make a difference for you, it's not always easy to stick to them. You decide to get started and your daughter needs help with homework, or your friend calls in to get your advice, or you notice the sink is full and there's nothing cooked for dinner.

Before you know it, you're back promising yourself that you'll start tomorrow or next week, or once the product launch at the office ends.

But if you don't treat self-care like you treat any other critical appointment you would never dare to miss, it won't get done. Remember, self-care isn't selfish. It's a necessity that will help you pour into all the other areas in your life – and it will be so much easier to do it when your pain levels finally start decreasing.

Self Care is Not About Being Alone

Sometimes you just need to do it. Go on a hike on your own. Or go to bed, close the door, turn off your cell phone, and be available to no one but yourself.

But if you're practicing self-care like this and feeling more and more alone – or if you're dreading trying out self-care because you don't like being alone – know that it's not the only way to do it.

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Self Care is Not Passive

Back when I was struggling with pelvic pain, I was so miserable and knee deep in catastrophic thinking, that I gave up my power.

I outsourced my care to doctors who knew less than me and continued following their advice even when the medications and injections they prescribed made things worse. But as many people who struggle with chronic pain know, when you're in that much pain, it's easy to feel like you're drowning in the darkness and misery of your pain, and you just wish someone could write something on a note that will magically heal your pain.

And while trusting professionals is often necessary when you're in new-to-you territory, the only way out is by taking control of your healing journey. That means educating yourself, so you understand your options, know when to speak up, know how to advocate for yourself, and know what's the next step you need to take and how it'll help you heal.

The Self Care Secrets that Helped Me Take Control of My Pelvic Pain Healing and Finally Live Pain-Free

Self-care is not an easy journey, certainly not when you're first getting started. Believe me – I've been there. But I've also walked through this journey myself for many years, and I've helped over 14,000 women walk through it, so I know it's possible for you to own your queendom.

About the Author

ISA HERRERA, MSPT, CSCS

Isa Herrera, MSPT, CSCS is a New York City-based holistic women’s pelvic floor specialist, author of 5 books on pelvic health, including the 2017 international best seller Female Pelvic Alchemy and the ground-breaking self-help book, Ending Female Pain, A Woman's Manual. She has dedicated her career to advancing awareness of pelvic floor conditions so that more people can find relief from this silent epidemic that affects over 30 million people in the US alone. Ms. Herrera holds a BA in Psychology and Biology from Fordham University and also a Masters in Physical Therapy from Hunter College. Click here for a complete bio.