What is Self Care? Why Self Care?
This has been a hot topic in social media and one that I really wanted to spend more time talking about. So what is Self Care? Well it is going to have different meanings for different people. It could be a massage, it could be going out in nature and just being present and enjoying the sunshine and the trees or it could be reading a book that is nurturing your soul! It is so many things to different people. For example, I get my roots retrained blonde every 6-8 weeks and some people love going to the hair salon and find this nurturing. I don’t. I actually dislike sitting still that long and just want to be doing other things! By the way, self care doesn’t have to cost anything! It could be doing a deep breathing exercise, relaxing, resting (yes, a state of rest is doing something!) and anything else that you find nourishing and rejuvenating for your body, mind and spirit!
For some of you this might be completely new, it was for me. I used to have people tell me all the time, “Kim, take care of yourself”. “Okay, I thought.” “I am doing the best I can with the amount of time I have.” I didn’t really know what that meant. I didn’t have time for fancy spa days or to go on a weekend retreat. I didn’t grow up learning about Self Care and my mom didn’t use Self Care and thought this was something for the ‘elite’ or ‘other people’ that have more time and resources than myself.
I started learning after I hit the burn out wall, that part of it meant blocking nourishing/rejuvenating time and that it didn’t have to be a fancy spa day. It could just mean going into the rest room at the office and taking 5 minutes to breathe and get centered and present. Here is why I mention getting present. When we are in the present mode, we aren’t stressing about this and that. When we are stressed it is because we are anxious about the future whether that is later today or tomorrow or next month or next year. When we are focused on this moment in time, now our shoulders relax. We can only control what is happening right now in this moment. Take one moment at a time as you create your day.
It took me 9 months to figure out Self Care. I would feel guilty that I wasn’t using that time to be with family or did I really need this self care thing or I will do it tomorrow and the list of excuses that my brain came up with continued on. Of course, you guessed it Self Care never got added to tomorrow. I had to take baby steps to really implement Self Care and not feel guilty and to figure out what was nourishing and rejuvenating for me. What works well for others might not be what works best for you! I started doing yin yoga to quiet my mind. In the beginning, I was bored. I had so much mind chatter and being still and quiet in restorative poses for 1-3 minutes at a time, was pushing my limits.
As I learned to be more patient with myself and to slow down, I started finding enjoyment in the quiet space, in the little moments in between things. This is a learning process for some of us who have never implemented Self Care or who had done very little of this. Be patient with yourself and its okay if it takes time. Just reading this blog is a step forward towards you taking that first step to taking care of YOU!!!