When stressed out, self-care is the last thing on our minds and the first thing we neglect. I experienced a few health scares in my life time. I remember writing long lists of changes I wanted to implement, new goals and making bucket lists each time it happened. I would be so scared that I made vows to totally transform my life. I would start a new diet and exercise regimen, treated myself to shopping sprees and would be determined to live in the NOW. This only lasted a few months because once I received the good news that things were okay, I would gradually go back to the old routine and old habits. I asked myself, why do I have to wait for a major scare to take care of myself? I promote self care with my clients. As a matter of fact, that's one of the first things I bring up in sessions. One day, I woke up tired and during a clear meditation sitting I realized that if I am going to promote this to my clients I should practice it myself.
What is self-care? Self-care can mean different things to different people. Someone noted that self-care includes any intentional action you take for your physical, mental and emotional health. Self-care can be difficult for some for valid reasons, such as acute mental illness or chronic medical condition. For others, self-Care is as basic as taking care of their ADL's and that is all they are able to do.
For me personally, self-care means making a point to meet my own needs, setting healthy boundaries, slowing down, engaging in meaningful activities such as meditation, resting intentionally, quieting down or just having a "bed day" where I do absolutely nothing, no schedules, no agenda. The writer Audre Lorde noted "caring for myself is not an act of political warfare, what ever you do for self care, I believe is the ultimate form of self-expression."
I am also a huge fan of Louise Hay and her work. She highly promotes self-care. At eighty-something-years old, she is making her dreams a reality. At that age, she learned how to paint, ball dance, practice yoga, changed her hand writing and became a movie star. She said that no matter how old you are, it's never too late to do the things you you dream to do.
When was the last time you did absolutely nothing for at least half of the day, not picking up the phone, checking your messages or going on social media? You can indulge in Luxurious little things with out breaking the bank. I heard once that is better to invest in experiences than in things. Treating yourself once in a while is very important for your self-esteem and overall well being. For me a good cup of coffee, scented oils, a good well deserved massage and a good candle makes my day. I encourage to make your own list and see what happens.