The term “Self-Care” has become increasingly popular over the past few years and I am delighted that it is finally being recognized for how important it really is. I have been thinking about self-care more in depth lately and tuning in to what it truly means to care for yourself (#selfcare). I could do a list of tips and tricks for self care and examples of what that looks like, but the truth is…self-care is so personal that it really comes down to the things that make YOU feel closer to…well, YOU! Self care is what makes you feel more alive, more connected to your body, more soul-drenched-in-love, more aware and more “in-tune”.
When we think of self-care we often think of steamy bubble baths, long reflective walks by the ocean, pedicures, vacations, or fancy face masks. While all of those things are excellent and definitely on the list for living a balanced life, they are not the only ways to show yourself some love. Self care to me is also in the harder stuff. The difficult choices, the choices were you have to chose which path your life will take. I was recently inspired and so in awe of a close friend of mine who decided that despite her dream of owning her own salon, the reality of the stress and overwhelm from managing, leading and training apprentices (and much more) became out of alignment for her. She was sacrificing her well-being in order to live up to a pre-conceived expectation she had of herself. She made the incredibly brave choice to let go of co-owning the salon and decided to work for herself as a chair renter (a smaller business within a business). To me, this is the highest form of self care there is. You are showing up for yourself and saying “My Life is important, my body is important, how I feel is important, and the journey is more important that the destination”.
Sometimes our vision needs to re-adjust in accordance with where we are at emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. If you are hurting yourself to get to where you want to be, ask yourself if it’s worth it. Because life is moving and the end destination might not be as gratifying as you thought, once you get there, if you are willing to miss everything else along the way.
Self care can also be in the little choices we make. Yesterday after a busy day at work I was going to grab a burger and fries for dinner. I wanted something greasy and satisfying. But then I thought about how quickly that satisfaction would fade. The real reason I was craving something greasy was because I was feeling tired and stressed. Valid reasons, however I knew that I could also make something healthier at home (and save money). I planned something easy and delicious to make at home and got myself a bag of the “healthier” potato chips instead. I made the choice to care for my body from an aware place, not a stressed and reactive place. When I got home I didn’t rush to make dinner right away. Instead I sat for awhile, meditated, had a few chips as a snack and began cooking once I felt a little more grounded. I was still feeling really tired and stressed, but instead of escalating the stress I released some of it by being quiet with myself for awhile. That is self care. The choice to eat healthy, the choice to make it easier on Myself, the choice to have a little of what I was craving, the choice to allow Myself some time to decompress.
Don’t get me wrong I still love my bubble baths and nature walks, but I want to focus also on what choices I can make to better support my well-being. How can I show up for Myself and honour my feelings. How can I give Myself more space, more time to unwind and heal. We don’t actually need to figure out how to heal ourselves, our bodies know how to do it and WANT to heal for us. Our “job” is to create the space and environments which are conducive to our healing. More love, more calm, more peace.
How do YOU show up for Yourself? What are some self-care decisions you’ve made recently? Self care = Self Love. ❤️