For Your Mental Health, Be Less Like Marie Kondo, More Like Simone Biles
Parents, we need to apply Biles' level of courage to change parenting culture. We must relieve the pressure we put on ourselves, and stop leaving our self-care needs on the back burner.
Are You Waiting to Channel Marie Kondo Before Letting Yourself Do Yoga?
If you’re like a lot of people I know, you put everyone and everything else first. Going it alone with your self-care isn't going so well, but committing...?
Maybe after you declutter the closet you'll be worthy. 😉 JK!
Let’s show up messy and take imperfect action together.
If you’ve been thinking you can’t refill your cup until you’ve got gobs of time… AND your space is Marie Kondo’d… AND you have anticipated the wants and needs of everyone you love (and a few complete strangers)...
You’re definitely not the only person who has waited until conditions are perfect before trying to fit self-care into your life. 🙋♀️
You seriously do NOT need to:
Go it alone
Wait until your life magically opens up space
Protect Your Mind and Body, Rather Than Just Doing What the World Wants
You’re going to become one of those people who says, “Sorry, I can’t work late/bake cookies today." (No need to give a reason - but the reason is yoga.) And eventually you won’t even feel guilty about it, because you know you are more calm and energetic when you take care of yourself. Someone else can take on the extra project for once. Someone else can do the bake sale this time.
You’re going to start channeling your inner Simone Biles.
Why Does Simone Biles, the World's Greatest Gymnast, Put Her Mental Health First?
I'm not saying you'll turn into the world's greatest gymnast. Biles is also known for prioritizing her mental health needs over societal expectations. She has been under immense pressure for most of her life, to represent her country and gymnastics, be a role model, and she's a survivor of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics team doctor. When the case against Nassar was mishandled, Biles realized she hadn't been supported by the organization she had given so much to.
Biles didn't feel that she and her fellow athletes were being cared for and protected, so she set out to change that. She started by walking away from unsafe environments and setting boundaries to care for her own mental and physical health.
She became a role model, not only for what she can do, but for what she chooses not to do. We admire her for what she stands for, and what she stands against.
Here are a few of her quotes:
"I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn't affect me but, damn, sometimes it's hard."
"We think we can do it on our own, but sometimes we just can't. So use every outlet given to you."
"I know a lot of people... go through similar things... I'm not just brushing it aside or hiding it under the rug..."
"We have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do."
This applies to you, too! The clutter CAN actually wait.
I know starting new habits is hard. But in the Compassion Club, you’re going to start practicing yoga that makes you feel calmer and happier, and STOP PUTTING YOURSELF LAST.
You’re going to start channeling your inner Simone Biles.
Parents, we need to apply Biles' level of courage to change parenting culture. We must relieve the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect, and stop leaving our mental health needs on the back burner.
For parents of atypical kids, we often feel we have no choice.
That may be true, because systemic injustice is a true barrier to parent self-care. But there are also entrenched cultural expectations that keep us from taking care of our mental health and overall wellbeing, when logistically we COULD.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Where is your partner or co-parent on a Saturday when you need an hour to move your body? Can you make a request in advance that they leave the house during that time? What would it be like to hold that boundary when the time comes?
What if your kids were slightly less enriched for a few minutes, while you energized yourself with a breath practice? Could you then be more present with them, knowing you had done something to nourish your mental health?
How can you incorporate your kids into your self-care, and be okay with it, if that's your only choice? There is no one way that wellbeing looks. Make it work for you!
You don't need a lot of time to do things differently. You do need to commit to making your wellbeing a higher priority, hold that commitment with courage, and not feel guilty about it.
You may need to ignore the mess until after your meditation. You may not get through your whole to-do list. There may be ways to streamline your life or tie a new helpful habit to one you already do every day. You may already have a self-care routine, you're just not calling it that. Identify ways you already care for yourself, and be unapologetic about it.
To shift your mindset away from the dominant cultural one of self-sacrifice, acknowledge that your self-care is important.
Please take a breath, and notice how you feel after reading the last few paragraphs.
Self-sacrifice is not a sustainable strategy, and it doesn't benefit anyone in the long term. But it is the comfort zone many of us have grown up with, especially highly sensitive, empathetic people pleasers.
You can take the first step to change those patterns today. You can decide to prioritize your mental health. You can do one thing that feels like self-care to you.
If that's joining our therapeutic yoga membership for highly sensitive people, great! The Compassion Club will make it EASIER and more FUN to fill your own cup than going it alone. You know the investment in yourself (and the connection, accountability, and support of our welcoming group) will help you make time for self-care.
What won't help is waiting until your life magically opens up space in your calendar. If our yoga membership's not for you, no worries. Find the outlet that helps you fill your own cup.
Just, please, don't do it alone, or hide your struggles under the rug. Channel Simone Biles. Be a courageous advocate for your wellbeing.
Join Our Yoga Membership for Self-Compassion
When you join the Compassion Club, will you suddenly become someone who fiercely protects their own wellbeing?
Not exactly. It's a process:
You'll start wanting to be there for your friends inside the Compassion Club. You might be doing what you have always done, putting others first, but you’ll tell your brain that your yoga friends need you to show up, and so you won’t let them down.
Then you’ll get in the habit, and it will be harder and harder to stop you from getting on your mat!
You’ll start to see the connection between your yoga practice and your ability to stay calm even when life is stressful.
You'll set bigger goals, and sometimes you'll fail, but you'll have support, and the courage you build will teach you about yourself. And the Compassion Club will be here to hold you through all of it.
You will continue to show up, and benefit, because you'll see how supporting others feeds your inner strength and sense of purpose.
Self-Care Isn’t Selfish, It is Actually a Gift to Those You Love
Our cozy, caring therapeutic yoga membership will meet you where you are, without judgment. It’s a community where you’ll be supported to change what’s not working and fall back in love with your life.
Our Monthly Online Therapeutic Yoga Membership, the Compassion Club, Accepts You as You Are
“I was feeling isolated, overwhelmed, stuck, and burned out after 2 years of hyper-vigilance and worry, trying to keep my family safe. There were so many layers of anxiety and trauma that I couldn’t see how to begin to let go, reset, find my way back to an emotional neutral. Joining Compassion Club has been the medicine I needed. Kate is a gentle and thoughtful guide and helped bring ease, comfort, and mindfulness into my week. This work is so grounded in the body and breath that the effects have been profound from the first session.”
-Lisa W., parent and Compassion Club member
If you’re ready to get in on this, here’s the link again.
Join Our Stress Relieving Yoga Membership for Your Mental Health
You're ready to fall back in love with your body, your mind, and your life. I don't recommend waiting until conditions are perfect before starting. We will practice yoga and meditation for emotional balance and stress release. The Compassion Club is just what you need to feel supported and encouraged. Whatever obstacles you're up against, you're seriously not alone.
So if you’ve been thinking you can’t refill your cup until...?
I know you’ve been trying to fit self-care into your stressful life.
I also know you’re way too busy and struggling to find time for yourself.
The Compassion Club can make it so you can fit self-care into the life you have, and truly ENJOY it. That’s because, kind of like a gym membership, there are lots of options. You will create your ideal weekly routine from the options available, and you will have support and community to encourage you.
The time you spend on self-care will feel worthwhile once you start to love your life.
And when you start to feel that, and get the connection and support from our welcoming group, you will find the time for it. It isn't about doing it all. It’s about doing what will help you start to feel better in your skin and excited to create positive change.
The Compassion Club Is our online therapeutic yoga membership for highly sensitive people who want to fall back in love with their lives. It’s basically my favorite thing I’ve ever created and you can get it here.
An earlier version of this post was first published in a few different posts on my Inclusive Yoga & Mindful Parenting Blog.
The Compassion Club is open for enrollment through January 31.
I believe the Compassion Club is an incredibly supportive community in which to recharge, refocus, and relax. It would be even better with you in it!