Updated: Jan 28, 2020
What's all this about self-care? Everyone’s talking about it - and it's everywhere. Enveloped in your morning mug, knitted into your pyjamas, fizzing galaxies into your bath, it's blogged and tagged and grammed and tweeted... indeed, it's a much needed trend! But before you start spending all your pennies and sacred energy, it's important to truly understand what self care is.
What is self-care?
Exactly as it sounds, self-care is simply the act of taking care of oneself. It’s any activity or practice embraced for the sole purpose of one’s well being.
What does self-care look like?
Self-care will look a little different for everyone. In essence, it's anything done to nourish the body and mind. Just as we are all so different, we all require different types of nourishment. For the most part, this will look like enjoying healthy meals, exercising, getting enough sleep, meditation, spending time in nature, expressing yourself, or having a relaxing bath. Sometimes it looks like having a massage, taking a yoga class, unplugging social media, spending time with loved ones or simply just doing something that you know intuitively helps you feel more you. Think 'something with the sole purpose of nourishing your soul'
Why do we need to take care of ourselves?
To quote one of the very special souls in my life (Amy, Namaste if you're reading this!):
'fill yourself with love first, and give to others from your overflow'
We often get so tangled in our day-to-day lives we leave little time for ourselves. Or if you're anything like me, you will leave time, but you're too exhausted to utilise it. Parents, activists, carers, creatives, teachers, learners, healers - whatever it is you do, it's easy for time to escape and take your energy with it.
Wake. Wash. Caffeine. Dash. Work. Lunch. Scroll. Errand. Dinner. Slump. Sleep. Repeat.
It's very easy to lose the transition between the day's activities and leave any time for yourself. But without caring for your well-being, you deplete yourself of energy. You're lethargic, irritable, and find physical ailments like a bad back, gas and bloating. The whirlwind around you finds its way inside, and funks with your inner peace.
If this resonates with you, you may believe that there’s no time for self-care. Maybe to you this sounds too indulgent when your time should be devoted elsewhere.
But the thing about self-care is, without it, you are not truly you. You're not the nourished, healthy, loving and levelled version of yourself. Like the Lannisters (shout out fellow GOT fans), self-care always repays it's debts; self-care isn't time lost, it's time returned. The outcome of whatever it is you're doing, will depend on the version of yourself doing it.
Much like meditation, 5 minutes dedicated to your body and mind amplifies your ability to accomplish everything else in your day. Or 10 minutes in relaxation - a yoga pose, a bath, a cup of tea – calms the mind. With a calm mind you can approach everything else in your life from a much better place.
At the very core of self-care, is your unique individual needs. Be mindful of your needs.
Here are some of my favourite, simple, everyday self-care tips:
Drinking water in the morning
Short daily meditation
Making my bed
Expressing gratitude before meals
Maintaining a healthy skincare routine
Making a delicious and warm hearty breakfast
Reading a spiritual book
Limiting time spent on my phone
Hugging the people I love
Wearing clothes that give me confidence
Keeping my home environment tidy
Getting fresh air
Lighting candles, incense, or using my diffuser
Remember, self-care isn't selfish, it's kind. Fill yourself up to spill love into the lives of others. Once you feel the self care shift in your state of mind, you’ll be inspired to grow and bloom until you’re a self care flower too.
- Handle with Care,