Have you been taking care of yourself too?
Self-care is not selfish nor is it about being self-absorbed.
It is more about recognising what we need to do to look after and nourish ourselves, allowing us to live in balance and be our best selves.
Many of us have limiting beliefs that we are not deserving or worthy or self-care or that we must sacrifice our own needs or parts of ourselves. Or that to be a good Mum, you must always put your children's needs before yourself no matter what so we feel guilty if we take time out for ourselves away..
This is not true. We each have a responsibility to care for ourselves and to make choices which support our health, well-being and take us towards our goals.
It is our responsibility to fill our own cups! You can be more present to your children or to others when you are also looking after YOUR needs!
What self care looks like for you might change at different times.
You may need to review what is the kind choice in the moment, on one day going for a run may be feel like self-care, on another day it may feel more like punishment and some yoga or a gentle walk may feel more caring to you.
It can be helpful to regularly ask yourself:
How can I be kind to myself today/right now? How can I care for my body today/ right now?
Self-care may also look different for each of us.
Foundational things like eating well and exercising or regularly moving your body and getting adequate sleep ideally are done any way, although sometimes initially, considering these things will fall into the category of self-care.
So self-care may be getting more sleep. It may be finding a form of movement which you and your body enjoy. It may be choosing to only eat whole foods etc.
For some people it may be going for a regular massage or treatment of some sort. Regular walks or time spent in nature. It may be switching off all devices by 7pm, not watching mindless TV that you don't actually even enjoy or saying "No" to things which drain you and aren't necessary.
It may be making time to meditate or focus on your breathing each morning. Self-care might be prioritising creative expression, finding ways to bring more fun or light heartedness into your life or anything which lifts your heart, brings joy into your life or nourishes your spirit!
We need to prioritise our self care rather than it being something we do if we get time- because we never will- we need to CREATE time for the things which support our well-being.
I am a happier, healthier, kinder and more patient person when I have been ensuring that I have kept up my self care. Beginning each day with small acts of self-care such as a few minutes of meditation and some stretches followed by lemon juice in warm water and a nutritious smoothie allow me to start my day optimally.
Once I have taken the boys to school, I enjoy a walk whilst I listen to an audio book which provides movement, fresh air and information for my love of learning!
Regular tea breaks with tea pots and tea cups that I love create a simple ritual which creates moments of slowing down and nourishing myself throughout the day.
In the evenings I don't answer my phone after a certain time ( this frustrates some of my family members!), enjoy a bath with sea salt, Epsom salts, essential oils and a candle which soothes my nervous system and allows me to relax and let go of the day.
I do a few minutes of meditation and breathwork at the end of each day allowing me to focus on the positives in my day before having a restful sleep.
These are simple things that I can do every day so whilst they are part of my self-care, they are also just an ingrained normal part of my day.
Extra self-care things that I have in place on a regular basis are a monthly massage, a monthly session with a shamanic healing mentor and making sure that I have regular time on my own.
As I work with others and support them in creating more health, well-being and balance in their lives, I absolutely prioritise my own self-care to enable me to be able to best do the work that I do.
But regardless of what kind or work we do or how we live our lives, each of us needs to do the things which fill us up!
We may sometimes think ourselves as being a bit a bit 'precious' with this need for self care, our Mums or Grandmothers and ancestors didn't do it- they 'just got on with it!'
But things were quite different even a generation or two ago, the pace of living has changed, most women now also work outside the home as well as in it along with the changes in technology such mobile phones to make us contactable and interuptable at any time, the internet to search or be bombarded with information by, the societal addiction to busyness. The fast paced, 'do- more- quick fix' tendency that we can so easily get swept up in unless we're mindful. They generally ate less processed food, they ate with the seasons because foods weren't artificially produced or imported all year round and the list could go on....
As a society which is constantly changing and evolving (in some positive and some seemingly negative ways) we also seek different things.
We have different knowledge about things, are in some ways moving beyond a need for sacrifice and martyrdom and are realising that for us to fulfill our purpose here and to best experience our lives, serving others whether through our families or relationships our work or just by leading an inspired life through which we also naturally inspire others which we do when we are operating as our best selves.
I don't believe that we are meant to just slave away and suffer, just getting through each day. We will learn lessons, face and over come challenges, grow as people yes, but life doesn't have to be about struggle and suffering.
Each of us is influenced by those around us, whether consciously, unconsciously or energetically we all affect and influence each other. By being the best version of you and sharing that with those around you, even if just with your presence, you inspire and uplift or positively influence others and the world sure needs that!
If you've let you self care slide a bit (or it's currently non-existent!) it might be helpful to consider the following questions:
What is your response to the notion of self-care?
Are you comfortable with the concept of it and aware of the need to take care of yourself through intentional self-care?
Did you observe any patterns around this growing up? The Martyr archetype of 'having to do it all' or ' just getting on with it' may have been strong in the women of within your family?
What do you currently do to for self-care?
If you could remove any obstacles whether physical/material eg.time/money constraints or mental (beliefs) what would you do for self-care?
How important is self-care in your daily life? How can you adjust this?
How kind are you to yourself on a daily basis?
If you're not sure where to start with what YOU could implement for self- care ask yourself the following questions and write down your first responses (without any self-judgement) because there is no right or wrong!
If I was kinder to myself I would...
If I was kinder to my body I would...
If I loved myself /loved myself more I would...
If I loved my body/loved my body more I would...
Self care is not about selfishness or self-absorption, it's necessary to take care of yourself so that you can also give and take care of others. Not doing so will eventually come at a sacrifice to your health and happiness.
If you have children,remember also that they are watching! Role modelling self care is important in teaching them to take of themselves as well...
Need some guidance in creating a realistic, sustainable self care plan that supports your energy levels and overall health? Find out about my 6 session package here: https://blossomwellbeing.com.au/im-so-tired/