I have been sick for about a month now. It has given me some time to reflect on self-care.
How often do we get a chance to do this? If you’re like me it isn’t until you are in the throngs of a very debilitating sickness that puts you in bed for a week. I don’t want to be in bed for a week. There is too much I want to do and many needs to be met. Then, when you think you are ready to go back to business or busy-ness, the claws of destruction take you down to bed again and keep you there forcing you to finally succumb to ask, “Hmm…How am I taking care of myself?”
I’ll be honest, the first time somebody explained self-care to me, I just didn’t resonate with the whole concept. Don’t get me wrong, loving myself was advice that I respected, and I thought that eventually one day I would reach a point where I truly loved myself.
But, I was busy… I had to finish that one project before I had some “me time”.
But, I was stressed…and to be frank, thinking about self-care and “loving myself” only made me more stressed.
But, Self-Care wasn’t for me…I had to take care of others.
I won’t get into all the fine details about how I finally learned the importance of self-care, because it happened over a few years and was it a long trail-and-error process. But somewhere, at some point, something clicked…
And it was so simple.
And so wonderful.
And it was such a relief.
It was this:
What if self-care wasn’t necessarily “me time”?
What if self-care was just letting yourself feel the way you want to feel?
From-day-to-day, hour-to-hour, moment-to-moment. Think to yourself, how do you want to feel? How do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning? How do you want to feel when when you get into the car? How do you wan tot feel when you write that one email?
There is this one little rule that I learned to follow. It took me some time to really understand it, but when I did, it felt liberating to know that I actually had control over how I felt!
Here it is:
Stop doing the things that suck the good feelings out of you.
Stop. Right. Now.
Feeling depressed from the toxic friend? Re-evaluate your relationship.
Stressed about finances and accumulated debt? Be 100% honest with yourself and your money.
Trying to justify why you yelled at your children? Admit that you lost your temper.
Now! I want to be clear when I say that I still think restraint holds its place it the universe. This post is not meant to encourage people to go and do whatever they feel like doing. Maybe it would be more appropriate to say, “Do the things that make you feel present” or “Do the things that make you feel grateful.” Sometimes it takes a bit of self-evaluation before we decide what we should or should not keep doing.
The point I’m trying to make here is that even though there are certain things in life that are assigned to us without our consent, I believe there are many more things in our life that we think we have to do when in fact, we don’t.
For example, gossiping, something so toxic, yet something that so many people think is vital to a relationship.
You might use these questions to evaluate your choices to do something or not:
What if I stopped?
What would happen by this choice I make?
What would I lose, and what would I gain?
And would I feel better?
Would I feel more grateful?
Would I have more Integrity?
Self-care is necessary for the attitude we want to carry throughout the day. Self-care is in a sense, health care and is just as important as the daily business we do. The care of the self should be deliberate, self-initiated and daily and that is what makes it so challenging.
So, let’s think. If you were to package yourself a self-care package what would be in it?
What are those things that give me Joy?
What are those things that need my commitment in order to find joy and well-being?
What is your daily Self-Care routine?
Here are two lists to work from:
What gives you energy and joy? What sucks the life out of you?
Here are some things will start you on your way to your self-care package
- Before bed, set out a glass of water on your night stand.
- Upon waking, notice your breath-be grateful.
- Upon waking, drink the water you left on your night stand the night before.
- Think a good thought
- Set and intention for your day-Write it in your journal.
- Determine your strengths-for the day (this will guide you for the long term).
- Plan some time in the sun.
- Unplug (Whatever that means to you)
- Be aware of the color you chose to wear for the day
- Do a self-massage
- Think about your choices of food and not foods choices for you.
(Do you eat food? Or does food eat you?)
- Notice your posture; align your posture to the way you want to feel.
- When you feel stressed, pull out some colored pencils and color a mandala.
“You can become blind by
seeing each day as a similar one.”
Really try to see the reality of all this. The reality that right now, today, you can feel good. No matter how unorganized you think you are, no matter how many things are on your plate, no matter how many times your toddler has cried today, you can feel good.
Ask yourself how you want to feel. Be specific. Go ahead. Right now.
Now ask yourself…What’s stopping me from feeling that?
I want to feel alive.
I want to wake up in the morning and feel nothing but gratitude and excitement for the upcoming day. I want to be in tune with my assignments and projects, and I want to want to do them. I want my life to be simple yet energetic. I want to be lively. Excited. Enthusiastic. Awakened. I want to naturally love everyone around me.
truly loved yourself,
you could never