212: If I’m Practicing Self-Care, Why Don’t I Feel Better? (Sort Of)

In our latest “Recovery Sort of” episode, we delve into the complexities of self-care, unveiling personal anecdotes that shed light on the ongoing struggle to strike a balance between personal well-being and life’s demands. We share candid reflections on the challenges of prioritizing tasks, managing household responsibilities, and navigating internal conflicts surrounding productivity and satisfaction.

Throughout the conversation, we address the impact of technology and social media, discussing the pervasive distractions in our lives and the quest for moments of stillness. We introduce the concept of “Plus 5, Minus 5.1,” encouraging listeners to consider adding positive elements to their lives while letting go of less fulfilling aspects. The discussion revolves around the need for intentional self-care practices aligned with personal values, emphasizing the value of small, manageable steps and self-awareness.

As we explore the ever-evolving landscape of self-improvement, we invite our listeners to connect with us on social media, sharing their own experiences and insights. The episode concludes with a message of gratitude, underscoring the importance of prioritizing self-care and approaching the journey with compassion for oneself and others.

Join the conversation on our social media platforms and share your insights.

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Transcript:

welcome back it’s recovery sord of the podcast where we explore the struggles of Life the challenges of mental health and recovery and the spaces between we express our personal views on life here and this podcast is not meant to replace medical advice or tell anyone the right way to live this podcast is best used as a place of curiosity and questioning to accompany you on your journey be aware there is strong language here we go [Music] [Applause] it uh it’s interesting because I was talking about the same thing kind of with my sponsor the other day I was showing her my checklist and she got concerned that it was you know a productivity right thing and I tried to explain that like no it’s I really tried to keep productivity things off of it um and one of the areas that I can beat myself up on because

I am so good at prioritizing what feels good in the moment I don’t do a great job with like keeping my house the way I think it should be like I’m I’ve really struggled with laundry or you know she she had asked me she’s like is there anything in your house that you feel like you should do that you just haven’t done and I was like yeah laundry and she’s like no something that’s more like a onetime thing and I was like yeah I have this wreath that fell off my is above my my wood stove and it fell probably close to a year ago and it’s just sitting on the mantle waiting to be hung back up and I see it and I don’t do it and I have a bunch of things like that I have a monitor in my living room that has been sitting in my living room for 6 months it needs to be shipped back to my company and I just haven’t done it and I’ll see these things but it’s like I don’t it’s almost like for me like

I’m I’m almost a little bit too good at like being like I don’t want to do that so I’m not GNA do it but then I will you know and she was like well what’s your what’s your selft talk when you see that thing and I’m like well I don’t feel like I’m like oh you’re such a piece of [ __ ] every time I see this wreath but I’m Sun level I’m not happy with the fact that I am not good at doing these things that I quote unquote should be doing and so it’s like finding that balance is really hard because if I do if I just only do what I want to the extreme I could see my house getting like really unmanageable which will make me feel bad I mean living in like just constant clutter and mess is not a good feeling so it’s like how do I find that balance between like I know that it will make me feel better to accomplish this thing but doing the thing doesn’t feel good that’s a hard balance to find so I don’t know that anybody wants my honest answer including myself um my truth in Jason’s body around a situation like that is the fact that I got programmed to give myself what I want and not what I need and I can point at a whole lot of things in the world that they can give me to say why I can’t get better with that like Oh I’m a depressed guy I just I struggle with motivation that’s why

I can’t get better at giving myself my needs instead of my wants but truth is in my belief it’s just a matter I need to [ __ ] get better at parenting myself from a gentle place right I need to be accepting of okay this is who I am the person that’s not getting rid of the wreath but I really want to be the person that gets rid of the wreath I don’t want to get rid of it I want to hang it up whatever it is right sorry I’m [ __ ] the story up but like in in my mind I’m trying to figure out how exactly I want to say what I’m trying to say here what I feel like I hear a lot um and and I struggle with this too is is the the ADHD anxiety fast-paced lifestyle not keeping up right and I feel like we’re all looking for these self-care answers that allow us to do all the things and I really am a believer that we’re not supposed to be able to do 8 billion things or have more than a 100 belongings or like we can’t keep up with the [ __ ] stuff we own or the distraction that we have because honestly Caroline if all of us didn’t have TVs or computers or cell phones or smart phones whatever the [ __ ] we call them now I’m old um like and we just sat and stared at a [ __ ] wall all day you’d have hung that wreath a long [ __ ] time ago that’s true yeah because it’s not a matter of

I’m too busy it’s a matter of there’s other things i’ rather do dist and well but the the distractions what they do in my mind is they take me away from being in touch with the feelings in my body because the feelings in my body will say I want to do it eventually if I just sit there and then I’ll do it that’s how life is supposed to work and I feel like we’ve created a [ __ ] dopamine Giver in a phone and my self-care is getting the [ __ ] away from these things personally I don’t think we can live a healthy life that distracted this is way off that but it’s very similar in that I heard something recently that like that’s a problem with food nowadays is that the way it used to be whatever Generations ago was you ate whatever food was like local to your area and grew in that region and so your pallette was fairly Limited in the amount of like tastes and choices and flavors that you had and then as we’ve Incorporated all these you know chains and able to bring in foods from you know Europe and Asia and you know all these different flavors and pallets like now the sudden you’re overwhelmed by a choice and so your whole system is just like oh I love flavors and choice and more and it’s so well it’s way more um uh evil yeah than that because there’s food scientists whose job are to develop hijack those systems exactly and backing away from some of this as I

‘ve been trying to do over a little bit of time now and watching it happen to me and to people in my family like not just the food but the understanding that we’ve spent billions in advertising to make people less content without the thing they’re watching and like watching everybody in my family get sucked into we walk into a store for one thing and [ __ ] just looks nice and it’s on sale and we got some money and cuz we’re not really buying a lot of [ __ ] and it’s just like holy [ __ ] scroll social media scroll through your emails all of a sudden you want to take a [ __ ] trip or a vacation or buy a product or this [ __ ] is yeah I again we are way off the self-care topic kind of but like in my mind getting that [ __ ] away from me is a huge part of my self-care because the more I slow down the more I sit out in the morning and I watch the sunrise and I’m [ __ ] content listening to the birds or watch do that when it’s this cold I got pictures from almost every day the last few weeks cuz I just that is my morning time man it’s quiet the birds start chirping yeah and there are some things though we can do to to I hate to say set up self-care to be easier but it’s like you know if because

I think about this a lot lately I’m like I think we should start shopping at like local produce stands you know local stuff get our and that by default would help eliminate some of those choices and get back to more healthy eating and make a lot of those things easier versus going to the grocery store and buying that full manager of [ __ ] ice creams and cereal and all that other stuff and having it in the house right right you know so I can set myself up for better self-care practices you know by some of my behaviors yeah and I think taking more and more space each of us uh we have this dire need like I said to fill every [ __ ] spare 20 22 minutes we get like think about it when’s the last time you got 22 minutes before your next thing and you thought I’m just going to sit here with myself we always distract sit here with my phone phone television we’re going to do something with that time we’re going to watch an episode right and this is the thing that I think is disconnecting us from the actual self-care because what we’re giving ourselves is little hits of distraction and relief instead of the long and enduring positive feeling that we could from doing the self-care in that moment as opposed to the the little relieving action and

I don’t know how to convince people that that’s better H oh I mean I think that you you you helped me connect some points okay um for sure pointing out the you know my phone does this thing where every week it tells me how much time more or less than the prior week I spent on my phone and I’m like I don’t give a [ __ ] I don’t care how much time I spend on my phone each Tak from anything exactly cuz I don’t have kids exactly exactly I don’t have kids I should be paying attention to I don’t have a spouse I should be paying attention to I say the same [ __ ] when they’re not around Carolina I say the same [ __ ] to myself it’s my time yeah I got nothing else to do I like reading science articles right if I want to spend the time on my phone like I and it’s surprising actually that I haven’t turned it off I think it’s because it doesn’t happen often enough that it becomes annoying but I see it and I’m like I don’t care you know the person that is around that we’re totally [ __ ] ignoring when we’re on our phone you’re going to say you yeah yeah we’re we’re distracted and ignoring us just like all our friends do when they’re own earphones but I never connected the dot between I’m not hanging this wreath up because I’m wasting time on my phone or watching TV it’s mostly my phone playing games on my phone or scrolling social media or reading articles or shopping this time of year I feel like shoing is hard and part of that stuff like and maybe this a justification back to self-care but like part of that is is why like in our previous episode where we talked about like emails and all that [ __ ] like it’s a weekend

I don’t look at my [ __ ] email till Monday and like I don’t prioritize that stuff as like oh my God this is so important like that’s a really low like if you’re emailing me or texting me like that’s a usually a really low priority of a commity Comm unication and I don’t know if that’s fair or not but that’s the way I address that stuff in my life and like I don’t get not like we talked about this on an episode with technology like I don’t get any notifications on my phone at all except for texts and phone calls and messages that’s it nothing else notifies me about [ __ ] yeah I’m the same so he you shared that oh Billy shared this with us before and it helped me because since then I have done more with limiting my notifications on my phone for sure like all the [ __ ] apps aren’t notifying me I get notifications I think mostly around things I want to know there’s definitely some some room for me to make some more changes let me say that right but thank you because you helped me with that and I actually um there’s a guy I work with right now who who does the same thing he’s like really locked down on it and like it’s another reminder and a thing that’s spurring me on to make those other changes it’s like why yeah and even social media like I can’t like

I can’t [ __ ] around with it whether I place a judgment on whether it’s good bad or healthy or unhealth whatever like it doesn’t none of that matters I can’t [ __ ] around with it because I get too lost and it takes up too much time yeah and even now like even for a while I was like oh Instagram is just pictures I can roll through but now I’m getting to a place with that I’m like all of the sudden you know oh I got a couple minutes I’m going to [ __ ] around on Instagram oh I got you know I’m gon to and I’m like uh I think it might be time for that to go because even that’s just that’s energy that I feel like could be better used somewhere else you know I I have the ability to interact with social media as a poster only and never opening them for any other reason and that works for me but I yeah I can’t scroll them healthy I can’t I’ll be lost on there I’ll get into one and it happens from time to time I’ll start checking one more frequently and I catch myself and I’m like what am I doing reading this [ __ ] that I don’t care about again and right and this is what I see with me and my family members since stepping back is that all of us have a good intention generally we’re pulling our phone out to order that gift we just talked about for our daughter or we’re pulling our phone out to take care of that little quick thing we we needed to tend to or our friends message they sent us and then 16 minutes later we’ve done 84 mindless things because of all the notifications and things we do on it and the habits we’ve built around it well let me ask a question then because

I mean we think of this like phones technology social media all that’s only 15 to 20 years old I Facebook’s only like 15 years years old well no I mean what were all those distractions before that cuz they were there TV they were there there was TV there was radio there was uh I mean YouTube was starting to get more popular when you’re talking about this but like what you’re talking about this shift into us being more Mindless and faceless and stressed and less in a regulated nervous system and less like still time with people I think is exactly what you’re looking at with the political climate and everybody [ __ ] hating everybody and like I I was driving yesterday I went and had breakfast with my buddy and I was driving home and just in the first 5 minutes leaving his house I literally witnessed two people losing their [ __ ] Minds in traffic around situations that either nobody could do anything about or that they had caused themselves and it was like holy [ __ ] more and more people are just going to get shot like that’s all my only Take On The World is I just want to stay the [ __ ] home because this yeah I think what you’re talking about is us witnessing think it’s been slowly getting worse and worse over time like so

I guess I was thinking from a perspective of it’s always been equally as bad it’s just been different things that come in and distract but you’re saying you feel like it’s actually gotten worse so well we we talk about it like uh there’s this point in history like everybody was mad that their kids were reading books because they weren’t out there farming and doing the farm workor and [ __ ] and like it was just a distraction and a waste of your life and we look at books as like the great Educators now right but like then TV was looked at like that then this then that I I think it’s all been working but up until recently none of them were so good that they stopped us from ever wanting the other ones right like TV was cool watching a movie was cool but if you do that enough usually you get a pool to go outside to go see somebody to go take a walk like but I don’t think that happens with the always plugged in phone in the pocket like before it was I’m going to go get on the internet and there was a way to get off of it right and we’re never off of it anymore and I think that has been the game Cher the fact that we don’t have a place to say okay I’m done with this

I got to go get the rest of life now and yeah I think that’s what we’re seeing is it’s going to get progressively angrier less mindful more people just shouting at each other and less understanding less compassionate because we’re all Less in our own body to understand our own emotions yeah cuz I mean in the the play a little bit of Devil’s Advocate on the technology part like the reason we know so much about self-care and meditation and all these different things are because this information is so available now and it did used to be a lot harder to get like 20 years ago think about trying to talk to somebody about meditation in Cecil County like who the [ __ ] are you going to go talk to you got to go find some Shaman somewhere that doesn’t exist in the county like you know what I mean are going to go find that’s and now you can read 20 articles in 15 minutes and you know find that information or download three apps that you can experiment with that are going to give you these different things so in some ways these things are good but then in other ways they’re terrible and I guess is it is it just utilization or is it really just a technology is [ __ ] us well I I think my Counterpoint to to your point which is a good point um is that the information is so readily available because so many [ __ ] people need it now right whereas 20 years ago when we could unplug and we had ways to unplug we had the connection piece that kept us caring for ourselves enough that we didn’t lose it in the first place and that’s why there’s so many 20 people talking about meditation because all of us are feeling so bad my take on it I mean I don’t know but yeah yeah anything is what you make of it right if

I only go on the internet to search up answers to things that help me like play the Monopoly game with my family in a way that feels good or recipes so I can cook for my family and the rest of the time I don’t use it well the internet’s not a bad thing right and I only say that because if if you get yourself into a mind space that like well the only way I’m going to save myself is to sell everything and move out into woods and not have any technology and all that stuff that can feel a little hopeless cuz that’s a pretty daunting task for most people to even think about but it’s like no there are some things we can do now to limit exposure and to not get sucked into these things it just takes a little bit of awareness well and and from that self-care place I don’t want to parent myself in a way that’s like oh [ __ ] you you’ve been on your phone three hours today you piece of [ __ ] right I want to say wow what’s happening in your life that you feel the need to be on the phone for three hours it must be pretty big and maybe I want to be here with me while I go through that pretty big thing and like Caroline said I I start to look at it in my my own head is like oh they’re engineering this [ __ ] this way like there’s they are it’s almost like a a in my frame of mind like it’s almost like a game and am I letting them win or am I [ __ ] trying to take back my [ __ ] and win you know like yeah yeah and and for what you said my intention at this moment is not to live on the side of a [ __ ] mountain with nothing like that’s not my goal my goal is to like I need to back away and remember that my goal is to use these again as tools that

I keep outside of me and as long as they’re working like that that’s wonderful right but when I’m not feeling good and I’m not getting the connection I’m looking for and I’m not hanging my [ __ ] wreath maybe I need to re-evaluate my relationship with it to find the one that feels better right it’s not about doing anything that feels bad for me necessarily right it’s about re-evaluating what I think feels good yeah I mean it’s it’s hard though when I think the first step of that battle is convincing yourself that putting the phone down is going to feel better because when I think about okay do I want to prioritize being off my phone more now based on this conversation in theory yes right but in the moment when I get home from recording today and I get a choice between laying on my couch and looking at my phone or laying on my couch and not looking at my phone I’m going to pick the phone up so why don’t start small why don’t you start with every hour I want to give myself like 10 minutes of non-technology just being with Caroline time maybe I’ll use that to make a tea maybe

I take myself to the bathroom whatever the [ __ ] I’ll just do it without my phone for 10 minutes an hour start there like don’t or like for me it started with I’m just going to look at this report that I get because I get a rep every Sunday it pops up this is your hours for the week that you were on your phone it lays out all five days it has its little bar graph and I don’t necessarily change any behaviors around that at least not intentionally at the moment but I’ll notice like oh some days it’s [ __ ] way up here and I’ll be like oh what was going on that day like and just awareness of thinking like oh I spent four hours on my phone that day like that feels like a lot maybe maybe even a different boundary maybe like a daily boundary like thinking in a calm moment I think okay I work eight hours I have from this time to this time at home by myself after work six hours I don’t want to spend more than four hours of that mindless so that’s my limit I’ll set my phone to like remind me at 4 hours of usage cuz I think they all do that now or they shut off and and maybe on the weekends that’s longer but like maybe there’s some way for you that feels like a good starting point we’re always trying to head first in like yeah man lovingly 1% well like say just awareness and making sure that I’m living the way

I want to live intentionally like maybe four hours a day is okay on my phone and I’m okay with that but if I’m just doing it and not even recognizing it and all of the sudden being like oh [ __ ] that’s four like for me just personally it’s 2 hours like I look at my thing for the week and if there’s any days I’m over 2 hours on my phone I’m like oh that feels like a lot I want to try to watch that you know that’s as much time as I want to give to that piece of equipment yeah no I mean I’m not in right along I will say the days I know if I look at that report which I never do I always just ignore it um but I know if I look at that report the days where I’m on my phone a lot it’s because I didn’t have a lot of other things like yesterday I had two dates and um took the dogs on a hike and hung out with friends in the evening so like I probably was not on my phone barely at all yesterday cuz I was too busy doing other things I want to pull him out and look now I’m curious I have no idea what I did I don’t like say I don’t necessarily change behaviors over it it’s just being aware like just like okay what am I doing here yeah I I think another part might be too like trying to reprogram and understanding at least from my basis in Jason’s body the idea that I was programmed originally makes me really understand the idea that

I can reprogram like there’s the ability to make this change it’s just something my parents gave me because that’s what they did and I can just figure out a way to undo that [ __ ] and give me something better right like that is this like General parenting I’m trying to do and for me it’s okay so if I was starting this process today it would feel like ah [ __ ] I’m dreading that 10 minutes of the hour I got to put my phone down cuz I’m in enjoying it right and and I got to make that thought of dread that comes up around putting it down be the thing that sets off the alarm and reminds me to be the loving parent and go oh oh but there’s also the other piece where I’m like actively going to spend 10 minutes with myself and love me and that’s kind of cool so it it is part of this reprogramming and making one thing trigger another thing right I remember somebody telling me a long time ago if you have the the thought to go get high or to go use if you can make that thought be the thing that reminds you that you haven’t prayed today it’ll never be a problem again and I was like [ __ ] that’s so basic and so true but yeah we we need to have that we need that other voice to come in and say that’s half the story here’s the other half you know yes it is scary to put my phone down but also I love me that’s great so yeah um maybe if the the goal or int ition of yours has been trying to have better self-care in your life and

what you have been finding or stumbling into is this idea of not knowing how to or where it goes or what it looks like and it feels maybe out of touch with your own self or your body maybe that is the place to just start is like looking at where is my Stillness hygiene like where do I put boundaries around having some time to sit whether that’s actively called a meditation or or just you know time to sit still for a minute without distraction maybe that’s a good place to start looking right or does this Behavior feel good does it make me internally feel good do I feel good when I think about it like when I think about oh I spent x amount of hours a week on my phone like do I feel good about that or does that feel like well and one of the ways just I had to notice it was like so I would play uh rocket league on Xbox right and weekends where I go into the weekend and I play it where it fits in I get a few games in here a few games in there half hour whatever that’s beautiful I go to bed feeling good about myself right and the reality for me is I had to pay attention and when I get on that [ __ ] and I don’t have nothing to do and I’m on it for quite a few hours and then I take a short break and then I’m back on it for quite a few hours

I feel like [ __ ] about myself Monday morning when I feel like I didn’t have a weekend so that’s for me I I don’t know what questions get you to that place or what OB I just was thinking more even looking at that stuff with exercise diet these other self-care things meetings like you know or whatever you know therapy like are these do I feel good about these things when I think about them do I feel like you know I have the right amount of these things in my life yeah and being able to sort of find that balance of what makes us feel good on the inside with it another question that I ask myself is like when where what portion of time am I allowed to have time for me because I think pre like really looking into this self-care idea generally every moment was a moment I was supposed to be doing something to be something for somebody or some image in my head I thought I had to meet and there was no consideration of like oh this is the allowable amount of time I’m allowed to ask for in my week to do whatever the [ __ ] I want take a nap [ __ ] jerk off anything like I if I’m not asking myself that question that’s a good starting point too yeah for me I mean that is not so much of a consideration because I have so much free time and so little of it is really owed to anyone else so jealous um um but I think for me like when I was thinking about like what are the things that

I really want to focus on in this in this present moment in this time it was well what are what are the things I’m looking to achieve and what feels good and so my list of self-care items was really around like I want to take some time to heal and get better and so here’s the things that are going to help me with that and I want to stay active and maybe lose some weight and so here’s and get stronger and so here’s the things that are going to help me with that and um you know I just want to T be taken care of myself and um so I came up with with a list kind of based on I think you know a lot of that stuff was stuff I probably could have reeled off pretty pretty quickly but having it all in one place is so helpful you know um just as like a cuz even there’ll be times where it’s like well what should I do today and then I can look at my list and be like oh okay maybe I can find some time to do this thing or that thing you know I suggest to people when they’re calm or or at any point in time and we could even do it in session together we come up with a list of ideas to try out for when they don’t feel well cuz when you’re in a a disregulated moment you don’t really have the brain to figure all this [ __ ] out right like so we come up with a list of ideas hey maybe there’s lay down maybe there’s do breathing maybe there’s lay down and meditate maybe there’s guided meditation maybe there’s have a hot tea maybe there’s sit down and wrap up in a blanket like all these things maybe it’s ask your person for a hug like and then when it’s like look try them when you can catch yourself in that disregulated moment just try any of these on that list and

I think sometimes having that list from the calm moment is good for us for self-care just to have a thing to look at and say what can I try and cross off the [ __ ] that don’t work try the ones that do and do them again and you know that’s like in my mind that’s what this is about it’s it’s turning the attention away from the thing I do to take me away from myself to back actually looking at me and caring about myself what is that hurt person in their need right now so I don’t know with that I guess keep taking care of yourself and try to take care of others and we’ll see you next week have you found that listening to the recovery sort of podcast has helped you in your day-to-day Journey please share the message of compassion and well-being with the loved ones in your life connect with us more at recovery sort of.com Facebook Instagram threads YouTube and other social media spaces and have a great [Music] [Applause] [Music] week