How to Find the Right Self Care for You

The type of self care you practice is very personal and important. But, how do you figure out what kind of self care works for you?
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Sara Miller: I’m Sara.

Max Miller: And I’m Max.

SM: And, this is The Self Care Lifestyle Podcast. We strive to help you, the everyday person, to stop living on autopilot; overwhelmed and frustrated with the way things are. You deserve to do away with that frustration, achieve more balance in your life, and find fulfillment in your everyday.

MM: We’re here to help you stop going through the motions and start being the happiest and healthiest version of you, all by caring for yourself like someone worth caring for. Join us for conversations about self care, wellness, mindfulness, and so much more that will help you find your own self care lifestyle.

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MM: Sara, you know what’s really not comfortable?


SM: What?


MM: Having your insides pop out. Really, 10 out of 10, would not recommend. It’s just it’s not comfortable. It’s not even comfortable once they put the insides back in. And like put put a little fence on it to make sure they don’t come back out. It’s just not comfortable. It’s really not. Yeah. But I now understand when people, I understand a little bit, I’m not trying to take anything away from the post pregnancy bowel movement… 


SM: Ohh..


MM: But I understand a little bit, like a little bit, just a little bit. And that’s all I’ll say about that. So cold open. Welcome to our podcast. 


SM: That was quite the statement. 


MM: Sometimes self care is not fun. And sometimes it’s not what you usually do. It’s not always a routine, sometimes self care is booking a double hernia repair surgery for yourself. 


SM: Yay, that’s super fun. 


MM: Because it is it is a ton of fun. Let me let me not tell you any more about it, because we’re not a medical podcast.


SM: Yep. Moving on. But our point with that is that, you know, when we talk about self care, and what self care is, self care is one size fits all right? It is or one size doesn’t fit all. I apologize, I can’t speak apparently. I want to make myself clear. Self Care is not one size fits all. Like we’ve talked about in, you know, episode, I guess, one of this version of the podcast, but two episodes ago or so? 


MM: Sure. 


SM: Um, self care is about what works for you. But how exactly do you know what works for you? And that is about staying in touch with your feelings. Which is bringing us to the sometimes self care isn’t fun. So how do you know if its self care when it’s, when it’s, not fun? You’re still trying to stay in touch with your feelings, right?


MM: I mean, how do you…how do you know when it’s time to do the not fun thing when you’ve been doing the fun thing? 


SM: Oh, that’s a good one. 


MM: So for me… to continue just to the slight left of the previous example. So for me, self care is…movement is 95% of my self care. Whether that’s taking the dog on a walk around the block, or doing a little dance at my desk while I work. Or making sure I get in, you know, at least an hour workout every other day because I love working out and I love metal music and Sara does not like metal music so much. So I get to play my loud metal music in my headphones when I go workout. Not allowed to play it at seven in the morning when I’m making pancakes. That for me is fun. So to find a time to stop doing the fun self care that I enjoy. That makes me the best version of myself to say, “Okay”, it’s time to address this hernia that’s come up and take the not fun step of seeing a surgeon and actually getting the procedure done so that I can continue in the future to be the best version of myself, if only as prevention so that you know I don’t get part of my intestine, shooting out and dying and then needing a bigger surgery or, you know, that’s possibly life threatening. So even just taking the step of preventing something worse, is a form of self care. And, as we said, just a minute ago, it’s definitely not fun.


SM: Yeah, so I think, to just put it a little more pinpoint. You know that it’s time to do the not been self care when it’s causing you pain, whether that’s physical or emotional. But, you know, there’s a lot of feelings that come with self care. And the good stuff is feeling reenergized. It’s feeling recharged, and happy and balanced and good. And there’s a lot of things, there’s a lot of self care ideas out there that make you feel those things during those activities. So just to give you some examples, you know, reading, journaling, taking a nice walk, or exercising, like, that’s your thing I that you really actually enjoy and want to go do and you’re doing it and you’re like, yeah, this is awesome.


MM: Or, I mean, not that I’ve seen this, many people do this, but I’ve never seen a sad person in a bubble bath, anytime you have bubbles… And you’re guaranteed to have at least a little bit of fun. Even as an adult. You can’t say you don’t at least blow on the bubbles a little bit, or clap them together a little bit. When you’re in a bubble bath.


SM: I’ve definitely cried in a bubble bath before.


MM: Okay, well, yeah, bubble baths can definitely be emotional. But they’re still innately fun. It’s like a bounce house. It’s fun. You could seriously injure yourself. But bounce houses are fun. That’s like in the definite if you look in the dictionary, it’ll say bubble bath. Fun, bounce house. Fun.


SM: I’m sure. coming from someone who’s had a bounce house collapse on them more than once. I don’t. I don’t know if I agree. But it was the same bounce house.


MM: Wow. Really out to get you I guess.


SM: Um


MM: So it, self care is, is fun. Sometimes


SM: sometimes and but sometimes those feelings aren’t going to come during. Sometimes it’s doing that hard thing that totally sucks to get back to those feelings, to gain those feelings, to improve that like long lasting effect. So, and I want to give some really specific examples of that beyond a hernia repair surgery, something that’s a little more


MM:That more people can relate to


SM: yes and less of an analogy and more of a I mean, I guess it’s not an analogy, it is self care, because it’s giving you the option to continue your regular day to day self care as you would like to.


MM: Sure. And I think before we leave the hernia behind, I want to hit one more point on that that, for me, the hernia was not necessarily hindering my workout progress. But the stars just kind of aligned where that was going to be one of the last days that we knew we would have childcare for Rhys as we were transitioning from our summer to our fall schedule. And it happened to be a week where when we scheduled it, at least, you Sara did not have a whole lot of work on your plate. And it looked like everybody else was going to be in the office. So you thought that would be a great day to take three days off, to help me with my recovery. And be there on the day of which I greatly appreciate. So it wasn’t necessarily that we came to a head and that oh, well, Max can’t work out anymore. So we got to go do this thing. It was just that, you know, I was dragging my feet into a little bit because I was a little scared and nervous. Right? It’s abdominal surgery, right? And it was a little daunting. But it just so happened to align that, you know, okay, this is, this is the path we’re gonna have to take that made it a little bit more difficult because I wasn’t really mentally ready. But that’s when it needed to happen. So that’s what happened. So it just kind of the stars aligned. And sometimes that happens. Sometimes you might have a strained relationship with a parent, and you’re really not meaning to bring up a difficult topic, but they happen to call you out of the blue because they saw your lucky number came up on the Powerball and they thought of you so they call you and then you get into the conversation that evening. Sometimes it just aligns and is not fun, but like in the last episode, we talked about using your mental power to reshape your reality. If you can recognize in the moment that not fun self care is working for you, instead of just being not fun,


SM: make it fun. Or, you know, I embrace the fact that it’s getting you where you want to go. And to dive into some examples for that. Some of those things might be exercise, I personally, don’t really enjoy exercise while I’m doing it. There’s been, you know, periods in my life where I have, but it’s not something that has come naturally to me. Um, and I definitely it my relationship with exercise ebbs and flows quite a bit. But I know that when I am doing it consistently, and I find something that I truly enjoy, long term, once I’ve like, gotten over that hump of figuring it out and making it a part of my day to day, ultimately, it improves my, like feelings of balance and energy, and all of that good stuff. And I feel better. When I when I’m doing that. Another great example would be therapy, working through past traumas past, whatever I mean, working through mental health struggles, working through that stuff is going to be incredibly beneficial for you. So there’s that. And then one more example to throw out there is setting a boundary with someone in your life, this is so challenging, trying to recognize when a relationship is no longer beneficial for you. And let me rephrase that. Not that it’s not beneficial, but that it’s harmful. Because I think neutral is okay. But if a relationship is harmful for you, and after many, many tries of just like reconciling and finding a way to make that relationship healthier, sometimes it just doesn’t work. And you have to set a boundary in your life and just move on. not allow that person to hurt you in that way, whether that spy, maybe, okay, Sue, from work is really toxic, she just talks about everybody else, and it doesn’t make me feel good, or whatever. So you decide, I’m not gonna see Sue outside of work, and I’m not gonna, like do water cooler talk with her, I’m gonna try to go and get my coffee or my water at different times and not hang out, hang around with her if I don’t have to. That could be setting a boundary, it could be not staying as close with a friend who doesn’t support you and support your goals in life. There’s a lot of a lot of things like that.


MM: Sure, it could also be even just distancing yourself from a friend who’s not trying to better themselves the way you are. So you’re listening to this podcast, you’re obviously interested in bettering yourself or practicing self care which those two things align. So if you have a friend who’s stuck where they are, and you’ve tried to, maybe not necessarily help them, but just kind of be positive around them, and you’ve shared some of the things that you’re doing to try and better yourself some of the self help books you’ve been reading, if that’s your thing, or, you know, some of the mindset shifts that you’ve been trying to make. And, and it just seems like every time that you get together with them, they’re always like, oh, man, I remember when we were in high school, and we were together all the time. I know, that was so great. And we had so much fun, and I don’t know why, you know, I, my life is so off because you’re not in it anymore. And that person is not necessarily toxic, right? They’re remembering the good times. But there’s something there where they’re not able to move themselves ahead, and you become like the people you hang out with. So if you’re still seeing that person on a weekly or every other week basis, and they’re not trying to better themselves, they could be holding you back. And it might be time to, to distance yourself from that person, as a form of self care for yourself, because you’re trying to get somewhere and if they’re, you know, their energy is not aligning with yours. And trying to better yourself, then you know, maybe it’s time to, to move on. So is not necessarily black and white. Everybody is different, all relationships are different. There’s so many variables, but, but definitely what you were saying. So,


SM: yeah, I mean, it’s it, just to wrap up our point with a nice bow. When you’re trying to evaluate your feelings around self care, it’s important to look at the before, the during, and the after, not just the during, I think it’s important to compare how you were feeling before, it’s important to tune in to how you’re feeling during I mean, it’s still important to understand how you feel when you’re doing something. But it’s also important to understand how it affects you. In some cases, I mean, if there’s something like Oh, so and so’s neighbor says that you should do a shot of tequila every night. And you know that, that doesn’t feel good for you. I mean, I would, I would hope that that’s not your form of self care. That’s not, I wouldn’t imagine that that brings you closer to your goals, or that it makes you feel good in the long run. That might be something that you don’t think of as being a hard thing, a hard thing is something that’s going to be actually beneficial for you. And that’s that. So we’ve also created a toolkit to help you along your journey in figuring out what kind of self care works for you. So if you want to grab the own your self care starter kit, just go to the self care dot life slash Own your self care, and grab that it’s totally free. Just go and download it, print it and start evaluating what kind of self care works for you. But before we wrap, I think just to make one more point about figuring out what self care works for you. We want to definitely address that. self care that works for you. How you know that self care works for you is that it gets you closer to your goals, your goals of being happier, healthier, whatever else. whatever other goals you have in mind, self care ultimately is going to get you closer to those things. And if they’re not, if they’re not making you happier, if they’re not getting you closer to your goals, if you don’t feel more mentally or emotionally, or physically healthy, it’s probably not the right kind of self care for you. So keep trying experiment. And don’t be afraid to try a type of self care more than once. It’s just really important to lean into that self care. That does work. To find your like, self care toolkit for lack of a better term to find you’re like, these are my go twos when things are just not good. That kind of thing. So


MM: Sure. And it takes practice, like you said, it’s definitely okay to try something more than once it’s okay to try weird or crazy things. And you might not think that hot yoga is your thing. But if you try it once, and you love it, you know you love thinking about going hot yoga, you love doing hot yoga, and then you love being all sweaty and kind of stinky after doing hot yoga, more power to you. That’s not necessarily for everybody. But if it gets you closer to your goal, then that could or probably is self care that is working for you. 

SM: Exactly.

MM: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Before you go, be sure to grab our free Own Your Self Care Starter Kit by visiting This kit is specially designed to help you identify what kind of self care will work best for you. That way you can start developing your own self care lifestyle. You can find the link in our show notes as well.

SM: If you’d like to stay connected, find us on TikTok at @theselfcarelifestyle and on Instagram at @sarastrives. Have a question, feedback, or an episode request? Text us at 512-998-1194. Chances are we might even respond. Thank you so much for listening and we will talk at you again, soon.