I have always felt like I was fairly “good” at checking in and connecting to what it is that i need at any given time. However, recently this ability has been challenged. These past few weeks I have been laser focused on my work and my passion, which is this blog and community. I have been creating content and doing my best to lay a foundation that will allow me to take a step back and be present this month. This is all really good stuff and exciting, but tends to lead me in the direction of neglecting self care and things like working out or eating consistently in a way that makes me feel my best.
It also happens to be December. So, there is a lot of extra goodness happening around here. Parties, planning, shopping, wrapping. All good things but also more. More on the calendar and more on my plate. This month is truly putting my ability to focus on and prioritize the important things to the test. Which I am grateful for. When I zoom out the lens, this is the perfect time to truly practice what I preach. We have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of anyone else.
This brings me back full circle to the idea of self care. These two words have definitely become popular in the social media world, but also they leave a lot of room for confusion if we are not crystal clear in our own personal definition.
The way I see it, self care is whatever you want and need it to be in the moment. It can be a big, all day affair or it can be a small, daily act of kindness that you show to yourself. The only requirement is that it makes you feel better than you did before. More relaxed, more connected and more present.
This takes the pressure off. Now that we know that there is no one size fits all form of self care, we are free to try on different activities for size. Take some time to brainstorm a master list of all the possible ways you see yourself enjoying the act of nourishing and taking care of YOU: body, mind and soul. This is where you can be free to write down anything and everything. Fight the urge to edit yourself. If you consider it to be enjoyable then it counts.
Now that you have a go-to list of things that will make you feel awesome, why is it so darn hard to do those things? I would venture to say the main block that keeps us from creating a sustainable self care practice is a perceived lack of time. We are living in a culture of busy. Most of us are still wearing it as a badge of honor. What we don’t realize is that we truly are designing our days. One way or another, whether you are intentionally placing things on the calendar and editing things out or you are letting life happen, either way you are designing the day.
Why not choose the intentional and purpose filled route. Yes, there are many things that we need to do on a daily basis that don’t necessarily fill us with joy and excitement, but they need to get done, like the laundry for instance. We can also choose to schedule in time everyday for ourselves. Take a good, long hard look at your typical day. On the surface it may seem as though there is literally no time to squeeze in anything extra. I would venture to bet that if you got creative, you could find a way.
A great way to schedule it in is to attach it to something that you already do everyday. Such as taking a shower or brushing your teeth. During your morning routine can you stretch, dry brush your skin, say an affirmation, or put on amazing smelling lotion? All of these things, I consider to be small acts of self care. They make you feel like you matter and you are taking a moment to appreciate your body.
Shifting our minds to seeing self care as something we can be doing in small ways that add up throughout the day is very beneficial. We don’t have to block out the entire afternoon, but we can make a cup of tea and sit in silence for 3-5 minutes while we sip that tea and take a few deep breaths.
My advice would be to try it. See how much better you feel if you even just take a 5 minute mommy time out everyday. Regroup and come back refreshed.
That is the ultimate goal with self care. When we treat ourselves as important and worthy, everything else in our life will improve. The trick is to find your happy place, your flow with the right balance of nourishment. When you are able to consistently show up for yourself, thats when the magic happens.