“Self-care is not selfish; you cannot give to others what you do not have to give.” I saw this quote in a wellness facility the other day and knew I had to share! We often think of self-care as a nice thing we can try to do if: we have time, have the money, didn’t have so many other things to do…and the list of excuses goes on. We somehow find ways to give and give to other people, our work, our community, and more, but eventually our giving tank gets depleted. Finding ways to build in self-care every day is the key to keeping our stores of giving stocked full.
Recap and What’s Next: Up until now, we have been tapping into areas of need, working to identify what our bodies might be telling us that we have been potentially ignoring. This week, I offer you an outside resource to help you begin to identify and put into practice self-care on a daily basis. As you move forward in the program, our focus will shift from just identifying our body’s signals to nurturing our bodies, enhancing our mind/body connection.
Learning How to Nurture Yourself Daily
Check out the following article, titled “4 Steps to Nurture Yourself Every Day” by Amy Kite, from DoYouYoga, a wonderful online yoga and self-care resource (click the title to access the article).
Now, Let’s Get to Work
After reading through the article, think through the following and record any thoughts you have in your daily writing space.
Why is practicing self-care so tough?
It’s often how we are raised. Think back to moments where you learned not to seem/feel needy.
“I’m fine.” How often do we say this? My coach reminds me often that “I’m fine” might be code for “Things aren’t great, but this stress, pain, anxiety, etc. is my new normal, so I don’t make any changes.” A tough, but powerful concept to think about.
“I’ll allow myself X once I do Y.” The self-care once everything and everyone else is taken care of is a cycle that doesn’t end.
“So what? I’m tough. I can deal with it.”
There are consequences of continuing to neglect yourself.
Our bodies will often manifest various emotions through tight shoulders, sore necks, stiffness during movement, and outright pain in certain areas.
By ignoring these repeated signals, we might unintentionally be setting ourselves up for long-term health issues.
What can developing a practice of self-care can do?
Most importantly, self-care acknowledges your worthiness. You are here for a reason, and taking care of “you” helps you fulfill that purpose. You can’t help anyone if you are stressed, in pain, exhausted, and emotionally drained.
Lower stress levels
Develop strategies for dealing with those moments when your breath quickens, a deadline is looming, plans go awry, etc.
Just practicing deep, belly breathing for a few minutes each day can provide many physiological and psychological benefits (The American Stress Institute calls breathing the “Super Stress Buster.” Click here to read more.
2. Action Steps to Get Stared with Self-Care Every Day:
Review the article “4 Steps to Nurture Yourself Every Day”
Make a list of small “indulgences” that you can shift your thinking about (i.e. view them as important and necessary health practices, not luxurious “extras”) and integrate daily
Be practical! For example, a trip to Aruba is not a practical daily practice! A more practical option might be to get a tropical or beach scented candle to light daily OR save an image of your favorite vacation spot on your phone, desktop, or wall so you can look at it daily.
Share! Tell me about your list of small, but important daily practices, and tell me how it goes as you try them.