When You Give Yourself Grief


the 5 stages of self-care when you give yourself grief
The 5 stages of self-care when you give yourself grief.

This self-care stuff is a process sometimes.

I don’t know about you, but I often give myself a lot of grief when it comes to prioritizing self-care. I know it’s essential to a thriving, joyful life, but my unhealthy programming runs deep and it's often a struggle to give myself the care that I know I need when I need it. 

I've noticed that my self-care grief tends to look a lot like the standard 5 stages of grief: denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance. Here's how this cycle works for me:

1. Denial

This is the stage where we deny ourselves happiness by that evil, joy-sucking word should. We want to take a relaxing bath, but we should do the laundry. We want to eat that bar of chocolate but we should have something healthier. We want to watch our favorite show on Netflix but we should get some work done instead. It doesn’t matter that we’ve worked all day already. There’s always something more productive we should be doing. So we do that instead.

2. Bargaining.

This is when we tell ourselves that we can have or do the things we want once we finish doing something else. We will take our bath after we do the laundry. We will eat that bar of chocolate after we eat an apple. We will watch our favorite show on Netflix after we finish our work. Sometimes this works, but most of the time we wind up never fulfilling our original desires due to the amount of time and energy we spend on the task before.

3. Anger

We give up on denial and bargaining. We simply don’t have any more f*cks to give. There isn’t any energy left to continue fighting against ourselves. So we finally  give into temptation and we let ourselves have or do what we want. 

4. Depression

We feel guilty for giving into our own wants and needs. How dare we! How selfish we must be! Caught in our shame spiral, we loop back into denial and bargaining again.

5. Acceptance

We decide to be honest with ourselves. We realize that our feelings, wants, and needs matter. We recognize the balance between selfcare and productivity, and that the two go hand-in-hand. We can’t be truly productive if we aren’t at our best and we can’t be our best if we don’t take care of ourselves. We know that selfcare isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. We make selfcare a regular part of our daily routine. Sometimes we still go through the cycle, but now we know that’s okay. As long as we eventually end up here, we’ll be fine.

we can't be truly productive if we aren't at our best, and we can't be at our best if we don't take care of ourselves.

Does this cycle sound familiar to you? 

Don't forget to connect with us on social media and let me know how you felt about this article. 

Do you ever give yourself grief? Which one of the five stages do you struggle with the most? 

I'd love to hear from you!

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