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Self Care - What does that even mean?

Self care is a somewhat looked down upon practice, long hours at work prove you are serious about your career and being a productive member of society, while leaving the office early to attend a yoga class or cook a meal are things you only do “if you happen to have the time”. Doesn’t it make more sense to take care of your personal needs so that you are the best self for the rest of life’s priorities, a “put the mask on yourself before assisting others” approach to life.

Self care looks different in every life. I have a brother that gains so much peacefulness and mind clarity by waking up at 5 am and having his cup of coffee while looking off his balcony into nature, and then he goes to work a 12 hour day. I personally have learned over the years that without a consistent gym schedule I get irritable and frustrated with other aspects of life. Maybe for you, spending time in the kitchen is where you get your relaxation and peace.

So if self care can look so different from person to person, how do we define it? It is engaging in activities or practices that are enjoyable, calming, and relaxing on a consistent basis. Self care includes engaging in pleasurable activities but also communicating your needs to others. It is making yourself aware of your body, mind, and soul and caring for all three in the ways that are most suited to you.

There is no exact recipe or 3 step process that is going to be effective with everyone. So self care has to start with exploration of needs and wants. Identifying those things that are necessary in your life to maintain a healthy mind, body, and soul versus a want, which is more of a hobby. Wants are also important to engage in from time to time, break from the routine but they are second to having your needs met.

A good place to start to discover your self care style is mindfulness. Take time, just 5 minutes a day, and really examine your mind, body, and soul. What are the things in your life that have drifted out of your routine but not for the better? What are the necessities to keeping yourself, in wholeness, healthy? Is it the gym, reading a book, coloring, cooking, exercise, girls night? There is no right or wrong answer here. It may take some trial and error, no worries, it’s a journey to getting to know yourself personally and investing time and energy into your health.

Next Thursday check back in to go a step beyond considering self care in your life and discussing why it is a necessity.

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