I have several go-to ways I like to take care of myself from practicing yoga, to immersing myself in nature, to writing, to taking the time to mindfully apply my favorite lotion.
I find myself engaging in these activities on days with good weather and when I’m generally happy.
Lately, however, I’ve noticed that it’s during the times when it’s hardest to think about self-care, whether our schedules are jam-packed, we are going through a difficult time, or we just don’t feel our best, that self-care is critical.
It’s easy to want to do fun activities or be nice to ourselves when life is looking good, but it’s much harder to have the energy or desire to take care of ourselves when times are tough.
But isn’t that when we most need to be our own best friends and supporters?
As humans, we’re hardwired to want to stay in our comfort zone, but that’s not where the growth happens, nor where our optimal levels of health and happiness reside.
- There is no right or wrong way to “do” self-care.
Before you truly begin incorporating self-care into your life and feeling the benefits of it, it’s natural to wonder if you’re approaching it right. The good news is: there is no right or wrong way to engage in self-care, as long as you’re doing activities that contribute to your level of happiness or sense of well-being.
- Incorporate some form of self-care into your daily routine.
You might not always have the time or energy to do a full workout or practice your favorite self-care activity, but you can find little ways to take care of yourself every day.
- Consider the Wellness Wheel.
As you begin to integrate self-care into your life or work to maintain the self-care strategies you’ve already implemented, think about the several different types of wellness (physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, environmental, occupational).
Take the time to understand which self-care activities are connected to the different types of wellness. This might help bring things into perspective.
- Inform others about your self-care practices.
If your self-care means unplugging for a day and others are going to want to contact you, you might want to let them know that you’ll be out of reach and explain why.
- Be gentle with yourself, and don’t forget to celebrate successes.
Just like any change you’re trying to make in life, it doesn’t always happen immediately or all at once, but rather over time.
If you experience a self-care setback, such as falling out of a new practice, being overcome by grief, or not dedicating as much time to it as you’d like, try your best to be gentle with yourself and use positive self-talk.
On the other hand, if the positive changes you’re noticing seem very small, try your best to remember to celebrate your efforts and the changes you are seeing. With positivity and commitment, you’ll notice the changes might begin to get bigger, and they might last longer too.
Self-care can help us feel a sense of happiness, gratitude, hope, and healing.
as we slowly slip into another season, as the new moon slips into a half moon, and as the days begin to slip into soft ness and quiet, may you consider revitalizing self-care in a new way…..not so much effort as mindful rest and rejuvenation…..
consider offering little moments to yourself through confusing times, stress or tiredness…..maybe you can find your own special sweetness that’s just for you…..