Ahhh...the magical words of self-care. It has been such a buzz word for so long and the topic of so many thousands of self-help articles and books, that I notice a bit of numbness to it. For me, I was introduced to the concept of self-care back in 2004, specifically as it related to getting up close and intimate with my own struggles with depression. I had started going to yoga regularly then, and my teacher at the time was a big advocate for self-care. For a number of years, I held the belief that self-care was always an act of doing something. Another thing to add, like a massage, soaking at the spa, curling up with a blanket and a book, or adding kale and herbal tea into the grocery cart instead of pints of Ben & Jerry's, although, that is self-care too sometimes.
Self-care has evolved for me in some really fascinating ways. Yes, I still build in active self-care; massage, acupuncture, spa time for soaking and steaming, journaling, walks in nature, meditation, yoga, all of that. But there's a new energy to all of it and that energy is truly receptive and fluid. What I notice now more than ever is that unless I am deeply grounded, listening to my intuition, and keenly aware of how my body, mind, and spirit feel, there isn't space to hold a conversation about self-care. Period.
Doing stuff only gets us so far. We live on the hedonic treadmill for the most part. But we have choice whether we stay on it or go take a hike into a different way of living.
Self-care has transformed for me personally to really encompass self-compassion and kindness.
It's consciously taking a lunch break away from my computer on a daily basis.
It's being realistic about how long things will take, including traveling, meetings, and projects.
It's saying, "Tomorrow's another day and I get another shot."
It's also saying "This can wait until tomorrow."
It's not setting the alarm on Sunday mornings.
It's dropping everything to watch a sunset or sunrise.
It's choosing garden time over dusting,
It's being in communication with your partner.
It's finding solace in soup instead of a big mac after a late night of working.
It's taking it easy during my moon time.
It's browsing the library for a few minutes versus rushing to my next errand.
It's feeling into how my body feels and what it needs.
We all have a choice and that's what makes this so great. We can choose a new way and create our own definition of self-care.