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Ep. 158 - Baseline Self Care - Summer Series Replay

One of my favorite coaching tools that I developed working with newlyweds is the idea of Baseline Self Care.

This not your typical conversation about self care. This is not just about adding what you enjoy into your schedule. This is about understanding that you function on different levels--and the most critical is when you are functioning below BASELINE.

You know the feeling after pulling an all-nighter? Like you absolutely know you shouldn't make any major decisions? That's called being below baseline. It's so critical to know what your baseline is because you'll know

a) not to engage in trying to fix anything right now b) not to evaluate yourself, your husband, or your relationship right now c) not to take any of your thoughts seriously

Our goal is to get WAY ABOVE baseline--not to get *just* above it. But our response to being below baseline is like a Code Red. We drop everything, including our judgments, until we are back above baseline.

Take this work further with us inside of How to Glow, the online coaching membership for married Jewish women.

Resources from this week's episode:

Be Impactful Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify


<00:00:00> Kayla Levin: Episode 158 Baseline Self Care summer series replay.

<00:00:07> Kayla Levin: All right. Whether you have heard this episode five times or you're in my, How to Glow program and I coach you all the time or you're one of my private clients, or you have never heard it before you guys have to listen to this episode. This is one that comes up all the time. We need to understand this concept.

<00:01:01> Kayla Levin: It is so critical that you understand the difference between self-care, which is like fru fru and extra, which is great sometimes. And self-care, which makes you a human functioning being who can rely on her mental. Thought processes and what to do when sometimes you're not a normal functioning, human being who cannot rely on her normal thought processes.

<00:01:25> Kayla Levin: Okay. So I think this is such a critical tool. It's a tool for giving ourselves so much more. Self-compassion a tool for setting ourselves up for much more technical success, whether we're able to be there, or we can set up the success for what we do when we're not able to be there. And a tool that can help us communicate with each other so much more effectively.

<00:01:43> Kayla Levin: So give this one to listen, check in with yourself, do the exercise, write out what are your baseline self care needs. And as always, I love, love, love to hear from you. So whether you wanna shoot me an email, you wanna send me something on, on social and have a wonderful self care filled week. We'll be back here next week with.

<00:02:04> Kayla Levin: Normal style episodes. See ya then.

Part 1

<00:02:09> Kayla Levin: Hey, everyone. Welcome back. I'm really excited to talk to you about this one today. I've been hearing from a lot of you newlyweds out there. So I know a big part of the people who listen are people who've either been married for longer than one year or people who are still dating or not even dating right now.

<00:02:27> Kayla Levin: Also, I, you know, I have to say as much as I'm, I'm loving hearing from how this material is impacting people in all different ages and stages. You know, I've got a soft spot for my newlyweds. So this is one that I really wish someone had sat me down and told me when I was first married. So this is definitely useful for anyone at any stage.

<00:02:50> Kayla Levin: I guess this is just that's the phase where I needed it the most. And that's the phase where I learned the hard way. So we're talking today about baseline self-care. So again, I really wish I'd known this one earlier. Probably took me a few years of marriage to figure this out. And I'm sure there are people out there who are more, I guess, sort of type A organized, structured.

<00:03:12> Kayla Levin: I love to be spontaneous. I love staying up late. I just think there's like almost nothing as much fun. As staying up later than you're supposed to, I'm basically still a kid. I like being active and doing things and all that. And the truth is that my marriage was really paying the price for it at the beginning, but it was such a simple fix because the problem was I needed more sleep.

<00:03:40> Kayla Levin: Different people react differently when they don't get enough sleep. . But for me, it came across as again, like I keep saying, what's holding you back from showing up as your best self in your marriage? Well, not getting enough sleep will definitely top that list. In fact, I actually say to people, I want you to know that you have my permission to go to bed angry.

<00:04:03> Kayla Levin: Anyone who grew up with that thought that like it's really romantic and sweet to commit to your partner that you'll never go to bed angry. No. Sorry. Disagree 100% go to bed with some statement of hope for resolution, go to bed with a promise of dealing with it in the morning. But if you are angry and tired, you are not about to find a solution to your problem.

<00:04:27> Kayla Levin: You are just about to make it worse. And you're probably gonna end up saying something that you're going to regret. So if you are exhausted and you're fighting with your spouse, my suggestion is you look them right in the eye and you say, sweetie, I love you. I don't think that my brain can handle this conversation right now because I'm so tired.

<00:04:45> Kayla Levin: I want to do my very best to resolve this problem. And I can't do it right now. So I wanna go to sleep and in the morning we're gonna discuss it and I'm going to have so many more ideas and so much more creativity to fix this problem. I'm telling you, it's not something that people are like, your spouse is gonna be thrilled, but really we'll see the wisdom in and it will make your life a million times easier.

<00:05:09> Kayla Levin: Again, everyone reacts differently when they don't get enough sleep for me, it would be, my patience is out the window. My creativity is out the window. I don't come up with new ideas. I don't have a sense of humor. Really. I'm really a troll. when I don't get enough sleep, I'm just no fun to be around.

<00:05:25> Kayla Levin: And. And what I've started to realize is I'm not having fun, right? So that's actually, what gets me to bed as somebody who loves staying up late is just realizing that the whole next day, I'm not gonna be having any fun. If I don't get enough sleep, now, there are those unicorns out there who manage their lives on five or six hours of sleep or four or five hours of sleep.

<00:05:46> Kayla Levin: And they seem to be fine and there's phases where you're just not going to get enough. Right. But prioritizing. To in my mind is really important. And again, it could just be that I'm one of the people that really suffers when they don't get enough. But I, I do see that most people when they're getting enough sleep and whatever enough is for you in your stage, it's that point at which you feel like yourself again, but when you're really running on empty and you're running on caffeine and you're running on sugar and whatever it takes to keep you going, because you're not taking care of yourself physically.

<00:06:20> Kayla Levin: That is not you. That is like zombie you and zombie. You is not the person, your spouse married. So it's not very nice to show up that way. I really love doing that higher level thought work, but it's also really important to pay attention to this baseline level of self care because. It's really hard to do the thought work.

<00:06:42> Kayla Levin: You can, you can do thought work about being tired. And I think it's really important to know that you can experience life tired and cranky. And what does that look like? And not to fight that, but to just really experience it and be open to what that looks like and feels like. But. Sometimes it's just more efficient to go take a nap and fix the problem.

<00:07:03> Kayla Levin: What I teach my clients is the idea of the ten second check-in because sometimes it's not sleep right. Sometimes you're just spinning and you don't know what it is. The first thing to do when you feel like you are in crisis mode. Is to grab yourself 10 seconds. And this could literally be in the middle of a conversation.

<00:07:19> Kayla Levin: And someone's talking to you. I don't care if you need this, you take it and you just close your eyes or you look down at the floor, whatever you need to do, you are not looking at a phone. You are not looking at a screen if you're at work and you can't get up, just look at your keyboard, but don't be looking at a screen.

<00:07:34> Kayla Levin: And you start at the top of your head and you literally scan through your body. Give yourself 10 seconds when you get to your mouth, you think, Am I thirsty? When you get to your head? I'm going backwards. Sorry. You think? Do I have a headache? Right? What? Just check in what is going on with my head right now, physically?

<00:07:51> Kayla Levin: Am I thirsty? Am I hungry? When's the last time I ate, do I need to go to the bathroom by the way? It could be that some of the guys have less of a problem with this. If you have learned anything from Alison Armstrong, she talks extensively about how women tend to be much less in touch with their physical bodies and their physical needs than men are.

<00:08:11> Kayla Levin: And we tend to just keep having urgent tasks come up and we push everything off. I'll eat later. I'll go to the bathroom later. I'll take a nap later where. Sometimes men can just be much more sort of self-sufficient in taking care of their physical needs. I actually see that that contrast comes up very interestingly with newlyweds because, you know, a woman will be struggling with something and she's putting off all her needs and then her husband will just drop everything and go to the fridge and open it and get something to eat.

<00:08:37> Kayla Levin: And she's like, why aren't you suffering like me? Like, it just doesn't make any sense, but understanding that that's just a difference in the way two genders can function. And again, everyone's on a spectrum. It might, might not be exactly true for your couple, but you'll see. In our case it's definitely the case that we fit this particular, this particular, you know, male, female dynamic.

<00:08:57> Kayla Levin: But anyway, so getting back to it. So if it, it could be that this is something that's, that more women are going to relate to than the men, but it's worthwhile for everybody. If you're feeling like you're in crisis mode, you just close your eyes or you look down and you literally scan from the top to the bottom of your body and just check in what physically needs to be taken care of right now.

<00:09:14> Kayla Levin: And you might find that you are totally exhausted. You might find that you're thirst. My mother shared with me. And I really wish that if anybody here has seen this, if it's a quote, I don't know. She said she saw it on like a post on social media and I thought it was so amazing. So I, my guess is it's probably a quote.

<00:09:31> Kayla Levin: It said something along the lines of, you know, sometimes I think that I need to turn my entire life upside down, but all I really need is a glass of water. Right. So sometimes I, I totally relate to this, right. Like if my house is going crazy and it's bonkers and it's what we call the 11 family circus and everyone's screaming and there's laundry all over the floor and there's dirty dishes stacked up.

<00:09:51> Kayla Levin: I'm like if only we had a dog . Like really I'm like, how can I change my life? Maybe we should move to California. Like, whatever it is, I just I'm like, I'm not even willing to deal with what's in front of me. So I'm like, let's just change everything. Right. And so it's fine when it's kind of in that crazy fantasy level.

<00:10:10> Kayla Levin: But when it gets dangerous is when you know, there's overwhelm or there's physical struggle because of exhaustion or because you're starving. And then something little goes on with your spouse. And you're like, oh my gosh, I don't think this relationship works. That's that now you're dealing in a totally different level.

<00:10:28> Kayla Levin: Right? And if what you actually need is a nap, you don't need to be dealing with the thought right now about whether your relationship is working or not. This is not a thought issue. This is a physical issue. Go take a nap. Okay. I hope I'm kind of explaining this all clearly. So that's how you do the ten second check in.

<00:10:44> Kayla Levin: And so what's gonna happen for you. Is, you're going to start to notice the difference between when your needs are self-care needs. And I mean, physical self-care we talk in my course a lot more about, um, self-care on a higher level, but I'm just talking about baseline self-care okay. That's your physical body's needs at the moment.

<00:11:04> Kayla Levin: So you're gonna start to be able to tell the difference between your baseline self care needs and your thought work needs, meaning. You'll be in a situation and you'll be experiencing negative emotion, frustration, resentment, anger, whatever, or you're just not getting whatever result in your life that you're looking for.

<00:11:24> Kayla Levin: And you're going to start to notice is this happening? Because I need to do my thought work. I need to do myself coaching. And if you haven't heard those podcasts go back a little bit to earlier podcasts, and you'll be able to get a little bit more of what that self coaching looks like. I talk about it quite a bit in the mother-in-law episode.

<00:11:40> Kayla Levin: or when, what you really need is the self-care need. You're gonna be able to sort of identify that really quickly. And the ten second check-in will help you with that because if you do the ten second check-in and you're fine, or you identify a need and you take care of it, and now you're fine and you're still struggling with the situation.

<00:11:56> Kayla Levin: So now it's a good time to move onto your thought work. Okay. So let me just give you an example of what that looks like for me. So self-care needs what that looks like for me, what I notice is kind of a racing, feeling, thoughts flying through my head. I don't really know where they're coming from. A lot of, I can't do this.

<00:12:13> Kayla Levin: It's too much. I'm overwhelmed, like a lot of overwhelmed confusion. Like, I don't know what to do next. I don't really know what I'm even doing right now. Complete lack of focus. now, could those things be feelings that are created by a certain thought? Yes, but when I identify them, that tends to be the cause of not enough sleep or not enough food.

<00:12:35> Kayla Levin: Right. And so my body is sort of like keeping me from being able to engage in anything cuz it's not properly fueled. So that's why I end up with kind of this blur, right? Like my day goes by in a blur. So that would be my situation where I'm gonna look and see, you know, what can I do to take care of my physical needs at the moment.

Part 2

<00:12:54> Kayla Levin: Now thought work needs really have a different flavor to them for me. And again, they're going to be different for you, but the more that you start to do that ten second check-in so you can start to categorize. You're really gonna start to see the difference. So you're gonna know sort of where to jump to.

<00:13:08> Kayla Levin: Here are some things I do when I know these are red flags for me, that it's time to run a model. Really you can run a model anytime you want. And the more models you run the better you'll get it with this work. But I know it's time to run a model when I'm trying to convince myself of something. right.

<00:13:25> Kayla Levin: I'm trying to convince myself that that person was wrong or that my situation is bad or that this person has done something to me or that I'm up like that. I'm trying to sort of like, I'm rehashing the thought over and over and I'm adding drama and, you know, adjectives to the whole situation. I'm reprocessing.

<00:13:45> Kayla Levin: And I'm just sort of, it's almost like I'm digging myself into the feeling. Right. I'm digging myself into my righteous indignation. That is a red flag for thought work. That's usually not needing a nap. That's usually stopping and saying, whoa, whatever thought I'm getting really excited about here, doesn't matter if it's true, or if it's false, is it helpful?

<00:14:09> Kayla Levin: Okay. I could spend a lot of time being frustrated over, you know, injustice in the government. Is that helpful to me, right? Doesn't mean that I don't ever do anything about it. And if that's something that spurs me into positive action and I'm happy with that. Great. But if I'm not planning on doing anything about it, how much time do I wanna spend there?

<00:14:34> Kayla Levin: It could even be things that feel really righteous to feel worried about. If I'm agonizing over one of my friends and her situation in life and how terrible it is and how I don't think she's gonna be okay, and maybe they're gonna get divorced or maybe their kid's not gonna be all right. If this spurs me into positive action, this is a great place to spend my time.

<00:14:54> Kayla Levin: If this is just completely blocking me from living my life, it doesn't matter if the situation's true or not. It doesn't matter if the thought is true or not, it's not helpful. And I define a different. Okay. And then the last one is at the same. Sometimes it's not like an extended time with one thought or one feeling.

<00:15:10> Kayla Levin: Sometimes it's the same issue coming up repeatedly. Now the issue will often look like another person whenever this person comes in the room, I'm upset. Right? So it starts to feel like this person is my problem. Let me avoid this pro person or let me change this person. And unfortunately, for those of you who have lived in the world of reality for any period of time, you have already found out the bad news.

<00:15:34> Kayla Levin: You can't change other people, even though this problem keeps coming up, when the person enters the room, that's just because you have a thought about that person. It's not about that person at. Again, you've definitely experienced this at some point in your life where you and a peer had totally different feelings about somebody, right.

<00:15:55> Kayla Levin: Could be they walked in the room and they got all charged and upset and you just didn't care. Right. Or vice versa. When you see the same issue keeps coming up, or maybe it's an issue of like, you're always late for work and then you're totally anxious and overwhelmed, or maybe it's an issue of every time you try to budget, you just can't get yourself to look at your bank account, whatever the thing is.

<00:16:14> Kayla Levin: Coming up repeatedly. That's a thought work issue. I had a really funny, like very run of the mill thought work problem. So I'll just share that with you as an ending, to just kind of give you an idea of how this all works out recent. So I, I realized that I had a thought that adult laundry is a lot harder than ch child Ry.

<00:16:35> Kayla Levin: Right. We have four kids. but they're all small. And so my thought was that, you know, kid clothes are cute and you feel like very maternal when you're taking care of their clothes and you're folding them. It's like a nice process. And I have like pretty little bins for all my kids. And like, they're all color coded and I don't love doing laundry, but you know, I feel like there's some kind of benefit when I'm doing the kids' laundry, but adult laundry, forget it.

<00:16:59> Kayla Levin: There's so much of it. It's complicated to put away, you know, it's always like, you know, it has to be sorted out more than the kids' stuff. You can't just throw it in. You know, it's just a lot more work. It's so much harder. And then I realized, wait, that's actually not objectively true. Right. I could probably find someone who thinks the opposite.

<00:17:19> Kayla Levin: And by the way I found out later, my husband literally thinks the opposite. He thinks kid clothes are completely overwhelming. They're so small takes forever to fold them. And he never knows what goes where. So, and he is like, you know, adult clothes, you know, you just take a shirt and like half the loads done, cuz our shirts are so big.

<00:17:33> Kayla Levin: So I could have just asked him. But instead I did thought work. I wanted to find out what my result was. And I was shocked by how much I had proved myself. Correct. Right. What had I done? So I had a thought that adult laundry is a lot harder than kid laundry. That made me feel like very, whatever the opposite of like motivated, I guess, unmotivated.

<00:17:56> Kayla Levin: Right. Extremely unmotivated. De-energized overwhelmed, not exactly resentful, but just kind of like cranky about the whole thing about having to do it. And so what actions did I take now? This is amazing. My kids got like really cute color, coded baskets from target that I love, they all they're matching each other, but they each have their own color and it's really sweet and I can line them up.

<00:18:19> Kayla Levin: What did I do for us? I went on Amazon and I just ordered the first thing that I found. It's way too big. It doesn't match our room. We have this ugly hamper in our room, right. And because it's so enormous. And because I have this thought that adult laundry is really hard. I always procrastinate our laundry.

<00:18:34> Kayla Levin: I'll always do the kids' laundry first, which means that on busy weeks, I end up with two loads of laundry for us because I didn't, you know, on a busy week, I'll miss our laundry cuz I did all their laundry first. . So this was really interesting because I actually made our laundry a lot harder. I bought a huge hamper that doesn't really get noticed until it's full, which is already like five times more full than their hampers.

<00:18:58> Kayla Levin: It's not like cute or enjoyable. I didn't buy something that I liked that brought me any kind of like visual enjoyment while I'm taking care of it. And I'm always doing theirs first, which means that there's just smaller amounts. I have that satisfaction of finishing the job with the kids that I never get with ours.

<00:19:12> Kayla Levin: So that's just an example of how, when we have that thought and then as soon as I can switch that thought, so our laundry's easy to put away. You know, I even put the towels in with ours sometimes. So like it's very fast to fold and then could just Chi chop get it done and you get a completely different response.

<00:19:27> Kayla Levin: So again, this is just an example for me. I know a lot of you don't. For kids or more. And I know a lot of you, it could be the husband or you share the laundry duty in our house. That's how we divided things. That's fine with me, but I, I did wanna just share that example as a way of looking at how sometimes that thought work need can really make your life easier.

<00:19:50> Kayla Levin: Right. This wasn't a dramatic, horrible thing going wrong in my. Right. It was just an annoyance in my life, but looking into the thought work, I, I haven't yet done my new model of where I, how I wanna feel about the laundry, but really just noticing that so much had happened because I just had been really invested in this thought that adult laundry is objectively so much harder when really that was just my interpretation.

<00:20:11> Kayla Levin: It's amazing to see how much evidence your brain can get for it and how you actually start to take action about it being hard. You know, my coach says that money is fun and. I know a lot of people who don't feel that money is fun and easy, but I love thinking about what that does for her. How does she show up differently in the world?

<00:20:32> Kayla Levin: Because she thinks money's fun and easy. How does she manage her budgeting? How does she manage her purchases? It's a totally different situation. Okay. So quick recap for today. So. You always get homework. Here's your homework. So I want you to try this ten second check in next time that you're feeling a lot of negative emotion or overwhelm, or just lack of focus, stop and do a ten second check in.

<00:20:54> Kayla Levin: It could be that you're already like deep into social media or like zoning out on your computer. When you notice this that's a good indication that maybe you're not feeling a hundred percent. So just close your computer, put away your phone, whatever you need to do, close your eyes and do that physical scan to see how you're physically feeling.

<00:21:10> Kayla Levin: Remember that sometimes you can do. There's there's just a quick fix. There's a physical fix to the problem. And it's great to get that in first because then you're just showing up a lot better. It's a lot easier to find solutions. It's a lot easier to be creative when like you're well rested or you're fed whatever you need.

<00:21:27> Kayla Levin: Right. And then when that ten second check-in doesn't. Bring up anything for you, or it brings up something that you can quickly fix and then you still don't feel good. Now it's time to figure out what you're thinking that's causing the problem. Right? What's that thought that you're having. And if you can't think of the thought, start by articulating your feeling.

<00:21:46> Kayla Levin: Okay. And right now I'm feeling really overwhelmed and anxious. Okay. Wait. So why would I be feeling overwhelmed and anxious? Right? Then you go backwards again. I talk about this a lot in the mother-in-law episodes. So if you wanna go back to that one, I think it's episode three. Um, and then you can also reach out to me if you want Instagram at first year married.

<00:22:03> Kayla Levin: If you wanna share some of your models with me and. Let me in on your process. I'd love to hear from you. All right. So thank you so much for tuning in this week. I hope you have a wonderful week and I will speak to you again very soon. Bye-bye.

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