So, self-care is something I know is important, yet still have hard time incorporating into my routines. I am the kind of person who does small things everyday to take care of myself. Although, I do believe it is important to set out larger chunks of time to practice self-care and this is something I will be aiming to do throughout the school year. Self-care can be a lot of things, the whole bubble bath and candle thing might be absolutely wonderful for some people, while others may take the rock out to super loud music in their car approach. Personally, I am a little bit of both, depends on the day/week.
I am a firm believer that one cannot pour from an empty cup. As my wise friend Anna told me the other day, “you cannot pour out or serve others unless you love yourself.” Self-care is self-love. Self-care is taking the time to recharge, rest, ground, and align with what you need. All we really have is ourselves. Think about it. The only thing in the entire universe we can control is ourselves, this took me 23 years to learn and I sometimes still have a hard time grasping that. I care a lot about others, which is extremely exhausting. When I get home from work my brain does not shut off on its own. I have to actively separate from my work day, which is difficult. Taking care of the self is just as important in helping to care for those around us. I would argue it is more important. At the end of the day, you go home to yourself. When your laying in bed at night, its just you there. Well maybe you cat or dog or partner. BUT, as you try and fall asleep, it is just you and your mind, your soul. So, how does that make you feel? Listen. Your body and soul will tell you.
I use self-care to avoid slipping into auto-pilot mode. We are trained to be mindless consumers. We go to school or work, come home, cook supper, watch tv, go to bed. Repeat. We get into these types of routines, our ‘normal’. I used to find myself distracted, monkey brain. Thinking and planning constantly. What kind of life is that, though? One where I spend all of my time planning for the next day rather than focusing on the interactions and events that are currently happening. Practicing self-care has given me presence, sure I still catch myself thinking about what I’m going to do when I get home from work. But, the ways in which I practice self-care (specifically, meditation) has allowed me to steer clear from auto-pilot. I find myself listening and enjoying the moments rather than worrying about the future.
People go through a lot, we are always thinking, feeling, learning, growing, and being challenged. We live in an absolutely overwhelming world. It can be scary and amazing all at once. Self-care allows us to set aside time to focus on ourselves. Self-care is a way for us to connect with our highest self. Self-care is not selfish, self-care is essential. When I don’t practice self-care I find myself thinking negative thoughts, and feeling completely discouraged about myself and my life. Self-care allows us to cleanse our energy and rid ourselves of thoughts, feelings, emotions, behaviors that we have taken on that are not our own. This may sound odd, but just a few weeks ago I was completely overwhelmed with feelings, thoughts, and emotions that were not my own. It took a lot of self-care for me to release them and begin to ground and realign with myself again. This shit works people!
I challenge you to start practicing self-care. Do things you love, or do absolutely nothing at all. Go outside. Eat fresh veggies. Drink wine. Take a bath. Lay in bed in the dark and watch The Office all by yourself while eating mac and cheese (a personal favorite). Do what you can, when you can and enjoy it. Embrace it. Leave the guilt at the door and spend some time giving your love and attention to yourself.
M O R E
Check out the Diary of An Empath blog, she sends out weekly self-care reminders and posts tons of self-care related content on Instagram.
Click here for my self-care Pinterest page.