You have heard of the importance of developing a self care habit. But what about developing your self care skills.
Aren’t they the same thing?
Nope, they’re the actions you need to develop before you can create a self care habit.
And like any skill, it takes practice and dedication to develop them.
So, what is the difference between self care habits and self care skills?
Habits are actions you repetitively do over a long period of time. And skill is how well you perform the actions.
I love this quote by Jim Rohn, “You can cut down a tree with a hammer, but it takes about 30 days. If you trade the hammer for an ax, you can cut it down in about 30 minutes. The difference between 30 days and 30 minutes is skills.”
If part of your self care routine is that you want to start nourishing your body with healthy foods.
Which is amazing! Right?
But you know you’re terrible at cooking. So now what? That’s when you need to step back and look at what skills you need to develop before you can develop a habit. The better and more confident you’re are in the kitchen the easier it is to start eating healthy.
When I wanted to drink more water, I had to learn and develop the skills to drink more water. For me drinking more water was not just developing the habit to remember to drink more water. I had to find little tricks to actually do it. That for me was developing a skill. Redefining that skill and figuring out what worked for my body. Check out this post on How To Drink More Water Hacks.
Now that was a fairly straight forward example. But what about the more complicated self care skills. You know the ones that usually involve EMOTIONS. Theses skills are harder and involve us to really dig deep into ourselves.
When you are learning to say NO to things that don’t serve you, you need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. We tend to say yes to things because we don’t want to have those uncomfortable conversations. But if we want to develop and become better and saying NO to people or things we don’t want to do, then we need to develop the skills to handle situations we feel uncomfortable in.
Example of Emotional Skills You May Need To Work On
- Learn to say no without feeling bad
- Taking time for yourself without feeling like you are being selfish
- Work on being more assertive without feeling like a bitch
- Increase your self confidence to easily ask for what you want
- Examining your own behaviours through self reflection
There’s a loudly spoken rule in my house that I will not get anyone anything until I finish my coffee in the morning. Trust me when I say the kids are not going to starve in the time it takes me to finish my coffee. Even if they act like they are going to.
I get up early enough to make this little me time happen and I stick to it. I don’t waver. Every so often the kids will walk past me to check out how full my coffee is. But they have finally come to realize I won’t get up until its done.
I have always been a person who enjoys easing into her day. This time in the morning is important to my self care routine. At first, it felt selfish. But over time as I developed my self care skills of being comfortable with developing boundaries, saying no, being uncomfortable I realizing that it’s not selfish to spend ten minutes drinking a cup of coffee.
How do you develop self care skills?
First, figure out what skills you need to work on. This is going to be different for everyone. Just like self care is different for everyone, the skill you need are going to be different too.
Examine your self care routine.
What is not working? You want to start running but don’t really know how to get started. Or you want to start taking a class at the local university but can’t find the time to sign up. Make a list of what not working and why?
Heads up, not being motivated is not a good why. If you didn’t have the desire to do it, then it wouldn’t be part of your self care routine. Dig deep to the reason why you can’t make this self care action work for you.
Ask yourself, why am I resisting this action?
Are you scared of what people will think of you? (Self-confidence)
Are you afraid you will fail? (Fear of Failure)
Scared of spending money on yourself? (Money Mindset)
Make a plan
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” And a self care routine, without action, is just a wish too! Now is the time to write down all the skills you need to work on and what actions you need to take. It could be as simple as signing up for a running class or hiring a trainer. Or it could be more difficult like setting boundaries with your family and friends. This is not a “set it and forget it” type of plan. Developing self care skills take a lot of action and consistency. You have to believe it. It has to become your new norm. And only then you can make it a habit.
The golden opportunity you are seeking is within yourself.
Take a leap of faith
Sometimes the only skill you need to develop is learning to take a leap of faith that your self care routine is going to work. That taking better care of yourself is going to help you feel less stressed, more in control and dare I say happier. This is you making the conscious decision to take action towards your self care goals. This is you looking inside yourself to see what skills you need to work on to make them happen. And accepting the fact that you’re going to have to be ok with being uncomfortable.
Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.Mark Victor Hansen
I hope you enjoyed this little post about self care skills, let me know in the comments what you think. What self care skill are you working on?