The Focus On You

Self-Care Is A Lifestyle

Tag: boundaries (page 2 of 4)

Why You Shouldn’t Fake It To Make It

A popular motto used in addiction recovery is, “Just fake it until you make it.” I have seen this confusing phrase thrown around in business circles as well, especially for new entrepeneurs.

Although this phrase CAN be used for short term reasons, it can actually cause more harm than good.


You Can’t Fake Being Happy

If you’re struggling with depressed feelings or grief, it can be more exhausting to feign happiness. Usually, the feeling we’re trying so hard to hide, is totally apparent to everyone……but ourselves. Recent traumatic events (divorce, loss of loved one, job loss, health diagnosis) may require us to take a time out. During times of grief, I truly had to reserve my “normal” face for work and that was it. Don’t ask me to smile after 5:00. I once had to duck into the bathroom between clients to cry, because it was torturous trying to put together a coherent conversation.

How can we distance ourselves in order to regain our emotional balance? Maybe you have to skip a family event, birthday party, sporting event, kids’ activities or work event so you don’t risk SNAPPING! After 3 times of people asking, “Hey you’re not yourself. What’s wrong?”, we may be inclined to yell back in response. Stuffing our feelings for too long will inevitably cause an explosion. Exploding on the wrong person can be damaging to our jobs and reputation. And as I mentioned above, explosions aren’t always angry. Tearful outbursts can actually scare people around us and will come at unexpected times. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings because we don’t know how to inventory our emotions.

Tip: Take an emotional inventory and be honest about how much longer you can “fake it.” It may be time for a self-imposed time out. Don’t push yourself to act on a normal schedule when your emotions need a chance to rest.

You Can’t Fake Your Passions

If you’re starting a new job, business project or activity for your family, there’s a time limit on how long you can fake passion. When I started blogging I had to find my niche and area of expertise. It wasn’t hard to discover that self-care & helping others is my passion since it’s my full-time career.

Faking your passions “until you make it” can only work on short-term projects. I’m not normally a baker but I could handle baking a cake for a family member or colleague because I see it more as a challenge rather than being “fake.” Now, I wouldn’t sign up to be the resident baker at my office because I wouldn’t put my heart into it. Personally, I don’t have THAT type of creativity. Since I’m a blogger, I would be more aligned with a company newsletter.

Plus, faking a passion for too long is a sign that you’re not assertive with yourself. Why are you unable to speak up and remove yourself from this job or task? Being honest with yourself or others about your limitations is a foundation for healthy communication. Don’t say yes if your heart says MMM MAYBE and allow yourself space to accept opportunities with a HELL YES!

Tip: Identify what you’re good at. THOSE are the passion projects you should sign up for. You wouldn’t have to fake anything and it would be a welcomed challenge.

Remember! Challenges are good and shouldn’t be filled with resentment. Click To Tweet

Resentment = faking happiness.

Some people may argue and say “faking it until you make it” helps motivate them to workout. This is great! If you need a motivating mantra (i.e. No pain, no gain) to keep you on track with fitness goals, PLEASE USE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. But if you’re faking that you love the treadmill, see how you feel on a stair climber or cycling class. I don’t mind working out but the treadmill bores me to tears. I prefer Zumba, weights, running outdoors and hot yoga. Life is really too short to be half assing something that’s supposed to be beneficial for you!

In short, “faking it” may work for a short term project or activity but our lives are too busy to be resentful all the time. This is why boundary setting is key. If you don’t want to act fake around certain people, then bounce! Seriously, protect your energy and your precious schedule for taking care OF YOU!!

Recommended read: What Are Boundaries?

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Part 1: Coping Skills For Family Stress & Burnout

Regardless of the source of stress in your life, having strong coping skills are the solution.

It’s not just about KNOWING what coping skills are, but actively USING them. Make them as routine as brushing your teeth or charging your phone.

In this 2-part series we’ll highlight family stress and burnout and specific examples of coping skills.

1.Take good care of your body – This means avoiding fast food or junk food, getting adequate sleep and drinking healthy fluids. If you suffer from “emotional eating” this is crucial. If a family member is criticizing you or stressing you out, it may be natural to run to the cupboard or convenience store for chips or cookies. Don’t feed into the negativity (literally).

coping skills

If you notice that you eat more at night because of loneliness, family stress or crappy eating patterns all day, then change up your routine. Stay away from the kitchen, keep busy during these trigger times and keep healthier options close by (low sodium popcorn, nuts, apples). If you need more information on eating disorders here is the National Eating Disorders website.

If you suffer from burnout you may think that “rewarding” yourself with cupcakes or wine every night is your “coping method” for surviving another day. WRONG! Wine in moderation is ok, if you don’t have a history of addiction. (If alcohol consumption becomes too much of a routine, please call 211 to seek help in your area and/or refer to the SAMHSA website.)

What helps me keep cravings at bay is refusing to keep unhealthy treats at home. If I want a snack at night its either popcorn or nuts. I don’t buy Cheetos, Oreos, pastries or my other faves. A personal trainer once told me that exercise isn’t the only key to staying in shape. Everything we put in our mouth determines our energy for the next day. I once struggled through a tough workout and we pinned the root of that struggle to Doritos. Ouch. He made me pay for that one!

2.Set a boundary – If you’re unsure about the benefit of setting boundaries please refer to my previous post on this topic.

Regardless of whether your stress is due to family issues or burnout, sit down and decide what you’re going to STOP doing. Have you signed on to do too much? Although it may be too late to completely jump out of a project/task, think of how you can either delegate it or make the task easier. For future reference, if you’re upset that you’re the only one who signed on for this project, consider how many times you say YES. Be upset with yourself, not anyone else.

In short, if you’re resentful about what you signed on to do, you are not going to perform at 100%. If you’re muttering under your breath about it, either buck up and accept it or delegate it so you don’t become overwhelmed.

This coping skill is ESSENTIAL with the holidays around the corner. Instead of showing up to make OTHER people happy, show up for yourself. Click To Tweet

Boundaries give you breathing room.

Do you need breathing room? Then you need boundaries NOW!

3.Get Organized – This coping skill may help you feel more in control. There’s nothing more powerful than an accountability list -even if that list only has 1 thing on it.

Burned out? Write down one activity you can do for yourself this week that will take your mind off your stresses, even if for one hour. Seems silly? Wrong. You just made yourself a priority.

What’s an activity that can take your mind off everything? Sitting outside, watching one of your favorite movies without browsing through your phone, using Do Not Disturb on your phone while you bathe, nap, shower or cooking a favorite home cooked meal w/ your favorite music in the background. This may sound like a self-care list (there I go name dropping again) but being in control of your life helps minimize burnout.

If you have a to-do list that’s out of control rename this list your action list or your intention list. Personally, I enjoy making lists but even I got turned off by the word “to-do.” I call mine an action list and I always include feel good tasks in there.

coping skills

What’s a coping skill you can commit to this week?

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