Do You Hear Your “Self”?
For the past year, the concept of “self-care” has been the focus of my Introduction to Healing Touch workshops. The idea of daily self-care can seem like “one more thing To Do”, whether you view your challenges as physical, emotional, spiritual or thought-based. Integrating time into our day for caring for ourselves is often what drives us to seek activities like exercise classes or Meet-ups. But while these are important, they still demand something of us in relation to others. Self-care is also about taking time to be focused solely on our selves, to listen carefully and then to say
“I hear you”.
During the most difficult time in my life, just four years ago, I clung to my own self-care advice like never before. It helped me to survive. I realized that the best way to integrate it into my day was to make sure it was only 75 minutes in the morning. It included some form of quiet time, prayer or journaling, exercise, and listening to music.
My trick? I didn't think about it, over plan it, try to make it perfect…I just did it. My self time was my escape from the stress of caring for everyone else and from putting myself last on my To Do list.
My son was into Zombies at the time (thankfully that interest has now passed), so I adopted the phrase "Go into my Zombie-mode". I didn’t have a conversation with myself about my routine because if I did, it usually ended in complete derailment of my intentions.
I made it easy on myself and mindlessly got out of my own way.
Fast forward four years later, and my life still has significant challenges, but it looks very different. One thing has stayed the same, however: my awareness that self-care is an intentional act of Self Love. Deeply caring for myself allows me to walk through these uncertain days with the grace and strength I strive for every day. Trust me, not every day is perfect. But in those moments of fear, I fall back on my tool bag of the many self-care tricks to get through it.
Self-care can take on many forms and shapes. It needs to be unique to you. And, the key to integrating it fully into your nearly-impossibly-busy life is to not create one more thing to do, but Make it Easy – don’t over think what “self-care” looks or feels like.
It can mean getting up 30 minutes earlier to add a form of exercise to your day or
It can mean sleeping in because your mind and body really needed the extra rest.
It can mean not contacting someone in your life that day because you know you’ll be triggered by them or
It can mean contacting a friend who makes you feel loved and celebrated when you talk with them.
It can mean substituting a high-sugar desert after dinner for a warm mug of peppermint tea or
It can mean having one glass of wine and listening your favorite music after a particularly tough work week.
It means deciding what authentically makes YOU feel cared for and ultimately feel good about YOURSELF.
The best way to make a self-care habit “easy” is to re-frame your attitude about it. It’s not a chore, it’s an opportunity to be loving toward You.