I've been doing better in the self care department lately but when I think about what a mess I've allowed my life to become and alllllllll the areas that need attention, I feel overwhelmed.
How do I decide what to pay attention to? It feels like no matter what I do I have to let go of things that are important - things other people seem to manage just fine. I resent myself - knowing that this huge mess is a product of my choices. And I resent that my energy and motivation last for about... 30 minutes... When it will take weeks of concentrated efforts to get organized, clear out past obligations, etc.
I need a game plan....?
The best resource I have to offer is Discipline #5: The Self-Care Routine. [If you are not familiar with it you can learn more about it here.] It sounds as though you are close to overwhelm and that you are upset with yourself; not only are you running on fumes, you are fuming at yourself. We want to both fill the tank and put out the fire. Let's start with the fire.
So there are parts of you that want to do a better job of self-care. They are dedicated to your welfare and observe that there are other parts that are sabotaging your well-being. The "sabotaging" parts don't see it that way at all. They are just trying to relieve the sense of overwhelm by allowing for some r&r. They know you just need to chill sometimes.
So we have parts who want to work harder and parts that just want to "chill." These parts are in conflict and a part of what we are hoping to construct here is a way to reduce the intensity of the conflict between those parts.
At the same time we want to fill the tank; we want to do things which actually get us more of what we need... and there are a lot of things we need. If we are not careful our anxiety about all of the things we need will push us further into overwhelm. Remember, "Progress, not perfection." We can only improve what we are able to do; we will not become perfect at it. We want our expectations to be spot on with what actually happens. If we expect more of ourselves than we are actually going to be able to do, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
So, do you have a plan? Is it a plan for doing things you can't or don't do, or is it a plan for doing better what you already do? What do you do when you don't follow the plan? What do you observe about yourself when you don't do what you decided was good for you to do?