Our lives can be so consumed with a bunch of (stuff) that we get caught up in a daily “routine” of what has to get done. We work, go to school, parent, run errands, take care of home and family, seeing that our loved ones have what they need, and maybe even volunteering our time in other places. We can become so consumed with responsibilities, and obligations that it becomes a “norm” for our daily lives to not have time for ourselves. Sometimes we don’t know that we are running out of gas until we are actually on empty and we hit a breakdown of some sort.. Most times, we are so highly consumed with our busy lives, that we fail to see the “gas light” when it comes on. Our bodies are consistently giving us warning signs when self-care is needed. Sometimes we just tend to overlook them, because we’re so immune to what it’s like to go uncared for by ourselves. Our body, mind and heart always let us know when something is needed, it’s up to us to respond and what matters is how we respond once we become aware of it.
Self-care is simply saying yes to yourself, it’s checking in with yourself making sure that you have all that you need. Self care is consciously deciding to build in time for what we need rather than what we want. When we take part in self-care, we create space for more. We create space for healthier moments in our lives. When we care for ourselves, it allows us to respond to life in healthier and more productive ways. Self care as we know it, and as we see it publicized in the media, are all things that “feel good”. The media refers to this by the popular saying, “Treat yo self!” We think of self-care as buying new clothes, or shoes, maybe even a handbag. We go to the nail salon and get a much needed mani and pedi. We make it a day at the spa getting massages and facials. We go to an expensive restaurant and eat a really nice meal. Yes, all of these are ways to care for yourself, and I encourage them all, BUT one of the biggest misconceptions of self-care is that it’s something that is always supposed to feel good. Self-care doesn’t always feel good and this is a reality that I need you to know. It’s a reality that I came toe to toe with during my healing journey. Self care is checking in with yourself, making sure that we have what we need, and this can include things that can feel good or not be so fun. Sometimes, caring for yourself includes the taking away of something and not always the adding of something. Maybe, it’s that you need to start waking up earlier to be more productive during the day, or taking a break from alcohol (your evening glass of wine) so that you can cleanse & rehydrate your body. Maybe it’s re evaluating your relationships or even ending relationships. Maybe it’s changing your diet, and eating more vegetables or drinking less sodas and coffee. Maybe it’s only eating half the pint of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream. Self care is not always about adding things to your life that feel good and look appealing, it’s also taking away things and going without so that you are cared for.
I encourage you not to wait until you’re on empty. Be aware. Listen to your body, your mind and your heart. What are they telling you to do? What are they telling you to stop or let go of? Take the time to make YOU a priority. Do what it takes to care for you, however that looks!
Light & Love,