We hear it over and over, we need to take care of ourselves first. Heck, I preach it on a consistent basis. Yet I wasn’t the best at it the past year. I learned first hand the consequences of not practicing self-care.
Three or so years ago, I had built a wonderful self-care routine. I was on it! I was healthy, full of sunshine and happiness. Queen of positivity was my nickname. I was eating well, exercising daily, meditating and all that other feel-good stuff.
But I allowed my priorities to change.
I’ve always been a worker bee putting work and projects before many, if not most, things. But I had made it a must-do to have self-care above that. Until last year. Then I lost track and in the process lost myself a bit too. At the end of 2019, I sat looking at myself in the mirror seeing all the consequences of not practicing self-care stare back at me.
The Physical Consequences of Not Practicing Self-Care
I’ll start with some of the most obvious consequences, the physical ones. The changes in my body and how I feel physically. These are the ones that you can notice on the surface.
I gained 55 pounds. It just kept adding on and adding on. I went up with eight sizes in clothes.
I wasn’t working out because I didn’t make time. I wasn’t eating right or balanced, grabbing on the go and skipping meals. This consequence is just the tip of the iceberg of not practicing self-care.
Due to the weight gain, I was feeling sluggish. I also have more aches and pains because of the extra weight on my body – my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia don’t really like this extra physical pressure.
My usual energetic flow fell into the dumps. I was tired all of the time! The stress, the weight gain, the lack of good nutrients, the limited activity, all contributed.
The Emotionally & Mentally Consequences
My self-esteem and confidence levels were low. Some of this due to the weight gain, some of it due to the very ill-managed stress, and honestly being tired all the time made it really hard to feel confident.
I found it hard to keep my emotions balanced. This is a big (but not often mentioned) consequence of not practicing self-care. Meditation, journaling, counseling, whatever it is you do – these self-care practices keep me feeling level and balanced. I feel better all-around with them.
I wasn’t setting healthy boundaries.
This is in itself a very important practice of self-care. But it all works together. Because I wasn’t taking care of myself in other ways, I wasn’t feeling confident enough to set those much-needed boundaries. This is where I slid back into my old people-pleasing ways.
Another consequence of not practicing self-care is how it affects my relationships. I became a bit withdrawn from friends and family. I struggled to express myself in healthy ways.
The biggest consequence of not practicing self-care – – – or the one round-up take away I’ll give you – – – I didn’t feel good because I wasn’t taking care of myself.
Sometimes the true motivations are not in being told what to do and how to do it but what will happen if you don’t do it. So this is why I share my consequences of not practicing self-care.
What are some of the tell-tale signs you notice, what changes for you and in your life, when are not practicing good self-care?