Self care. It’s actually kind of a boring “should” word and something we all feel we should be doing more of. What does it mean to you? Is it eating food, relaxing or exercise? This has been one of my biggest struggles turned passions. No diet, amount of health information or pairs of shoes can replace truly caring for yourself on all levels.
However, I prefer to ask the question like this: How do you care for you?
We all have different needs and requirements to staying healthy and happy yet many people totally clear on what theirs are or they only work on one piece of the puzzle. Autopilot kicks in and we find ourselves behind the curve and our “self care” looks like survival. True self care includes the needs of our whole selves being met in Body, Mind and Spirit. Ignoring or neglecting our needs can be dangerous. It’s like trying to put together a car with missing parts. It’s just not going to get you where you want to go and it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
We often miss the connection between self care and truly honoring, loving and accepting our selves. Self care is the action we take to confirm what we believe about ourselves and what’s possible for us. It’s an imperative ingredient for living a fulfilled life with purpose defined by our personal definition of success.
There are many ways we can deny ourselves our basic needs and we can be creative at justifying why. Here are just some of the basic ways we do this.
Habitually meeting other’s needs and not your own.
Saying yes when you really mean no.
Ignoring parts of you that want to be expressed and heard.
Numbing yourself with food, alcohol or drugs.
And WHY does it feel like such a challenge? It’s not easy to put our name at the top of the list. Sacrifice and suffering can be synonymous with love and it’s easy to get our wires crossed. We can easily ignore our needs in favor of someone or something else because that’s how we’ve learned to show our love or belong. It’s not workable like this when we don’t get our needs met. Some other reasons we don’t action are:
We feel we didn’t earn it, aren’t worth it or don’t deserve it.
We feel guilty.
We feel judged(by others and ourselves) .
We have the perception that putting ourselves first takes away from others.
We don’t know or aren’t aligned with what we really want.
Self Care is an art. It will look different at different times in our lives. There are items that are a constant for everyone like enough water, food and sleep and then there are other aspects that will change with time around mindset and emotional needs. Connection with ourselves daily is imperative so that we can identify what those needs are. We must know what they are in order for them to be met or that donut starts looking like pure bliss! Oh and it is but there about a million other ways to experience that. Once we know what they are, than we can create action or explore the reasons why we are not.
It's beautiful how the way we shift one thing effects everything else(yes everything else) in our lives. The body, mind and spirit work miraculously together and investment in each of the areas effect their counterparts. For example, evolvement in mindset and spirit will inevitably shift the body in a way no supplement or health plan can and visa versa.
Where can you start?
Step One: Write it down. A very simple exercise is to write down what you want every day so you can stay connected to what you honestly want and need. Make a column for the physical, mental and spiritual. If you are looking for more energy than the focus can be on subtracting out the energy robbers in your day. If you are looking for more connection to others they you can go into the day with that intention rather than keeping your headphones on and head down. This is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your needs on a daily basis. It’s easy, quick and powerful and it’s great for the mind in and of itself!
Step Two: Define an actionable item daily. Writing it down doesn’t create action it just brings awareness. Self care requires taking action so pick one thing that stands out the MOST to you where if you imagine having taken action you can feel yourself light up from within. You have to be able to FEEL the excitement of having it or you probably won’t follow through. Just a reminder: This can be anything and stay away from the list of what you “should” be doing. Pick what’s going to elevate you on the spot or what you feel most attracted to in the moment. If it's not eating more greens than don't pick that just yet!
Step Three: Slow down. One of the hardest things ever but in order for us to make conscience choices, we have to slow down a bit in order to fit ourselves in. When you feel like you are on a hamster wheel all day a simple act of putting your bare feet in the grass can feel impossible!
When we reclaim our time to CARE for ourselves we have so much more to offer others and the world. It’s easy to fall into the thinking that we are taking away from others but the opposite is true. Your greatest contribution to the world is to love and care for YOU.
If your health has experienced a decline or you aren’t feeling as vital as you would like, take a step back and evaluate how you are caring for yourself in mind body and spirit.
If you can relate to some of the challenges I mentioned above than I highly suggest signing up for my Self Care Challenge starting next week where we’ll be basking in caring for ourselves on a whole new level and working through some of those very challenges!
Sign up Below!