If you’re anything like me you’re probably aware of the term self care. Perhaps you’ve started to wonder, what does this actually mean? It’s a term that for a long time didn’t strongly resonate for me. I kept seeing images of baths, manicures and journals alongside the word self care and it just didn’t click for me. Luckily for me this has changed.
Self care has recently become a priority in my life, a deeper way to honour, nurture and care for myself physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s taken a challenging few months to realise that my self care game needed to be lifted in a big way.
So what does self care mean to me? To me it means courageously and unapologetically putting the care of our mind, body and spirit high (like way up towards the top) of the priority list. It means deeply honouring the life, the body we have been given and nurturing it. It means re-writing the story about putting ourselves first from being selfish to selfless.
You see, in my life there are many people who depend on me and somedays it feels like I give and give. On those days, it’s easy to neglect myself, fall into victim mode and feel depleted, run down, tired, overwhelmed and resentful. Now, I know whether I feel that way or nurtured and cared for is up to me. I know at this stage of my life, the people who depend on me respond so much better when I’m rested and filled up. I feel calm, I can handle the things that come my way and have more to give. Some days putting myself up on the priority list feels like a chore, like I can’t be bothered. That’s where I want to change our story and the beliefs we have, it’s actually selfish to those around us if we run off empty, if we’re depleted, if we make ourselves sick and have nothing left to give. In my view, turning that around and saying to ourselves I have to put myself first so that I can give to others, that is a selfless act, a great act of love for those around us and a great act of love to ourselves.
After a long couple of months over the Winter of sleepless nights, viruses, bouts of coughs and colds and feelings of overwhelm, anger and hopelessness, my body decided to give me some signs it needed more love (love from me caring for it that is). I got dermatitis for the first time ever and a niggle in my back turned into an ongoing injury impeding my movement. My mood dropped and I noticed I started to feel like not doing anything.
The thing is, we can ignore the signs for a little while but the saying goes, what we resist persists. I started getting nudges that it was time to care for myself more deeply, that I couldn’t run like this in the long term and it was actually selfish of me to run myself into the ground. I got a little intuitive hit that it was time to listen in and practice self care on a level I never have before.
What self care looks like for me
So what does self care look like for me:
- In recovering from anaemia and ongoing sleep deprivation I have set an 8.30pm bedtime
- Moving my body regularly, I’ve had to park my loved high intensity workouts for gentle movement like walking while my energy recovers, again this is a form of listening and self care
- Social media and phones off at 7.30pm
- Evening ritual of restorative yoga and meditation
- Less commitments in my calendar
- Asking myself what would feel nurturing at the moment and acting from this place, not fear
- Nourishing foods and supplements
- Lots of white space time to reflect and listen to what’s going on for me
I’m a mum of 2 and also run my own business working 1:1 with clients and I fit all of this in at the moment as I’ve made it a priority. I know you can too and you get to define what self care is and what practices feel good for you. I know you can do it.