So often I get questions like "How often should I do self care?" or "How long should I do my self care practice for?" The answer to both of these questions is always. You should always be practicing self care.
Self care is truly a lifestyle and not just an activity that we do every once in a while. The problem with the modern self care trend is that it has created a false illusion that self care is saved for only when we have time for it or only when we are down in the dumps. Hashtags like #selfcaresunday or #selfcaresaturday have led us to believe that self care is limited to one day a week when we can "afford" to take the time for it. So often you see photos of people practicing self care with face masks, a glass of wine, bubble baths and mani/pedis. Without taking into consideration the true depths of this lifestyle.
Self care is about doing what makes you feel good, always. And sure after working so hard and enduring so much in our lives it can feel good to treat ourselves to one of the above mentioned experiences. But do those activities keep us feeling good? Or is it just a false, temporary sense of self care?
Digging deeper than the surface we realize that self care is not the once in a while pampering that we treat ourselves to but it is also daily practices of meditation, yoga, exercise, journaling, time in nature, etc. All of the things that nourish and support our bodies, our minds and our souls. But even these "tasks" do not fully embody all that the self care lifestyle is really about so below are some other ways that we can practice self care outside of our "normal" #selfcaresunday.
1. Saying No.
Again caring for ourselves is about doing what makes us feel good, doing what makes us feel most loved, nourished and supported in any given moment. So the next time a friend tries to make plans but you really aren't feeling up to it, owning your "no" to allow yourself time and space to do what is best for you can be really beautiful and supportive.
2. Setting Firm but Loving Boundaries
To some degree we all want a life that feels fluid and just seems to flow but too much flow can allow others to overstep our boundaries. So when a coworker comes to ask you a question on your lunch break, letting them know that this is your time to fulfill your personal needs and not your work obligations can be really freeing. It's odd to think that setting a boundary can create greater freedom? But it truly is freeing for our body and spirit to not have to constantly feel obligated to others.
3. Practicing Self Discipline
Self care can be somewhat of a challenge. With so much happening in our lives constantly and so much external influence it can be really easy to allow the outside world to dictate how we function as human beings. So the next time you're having dinner with friends who want to share the nachos but you know your body would feel better with a salad (even though those nachos look reeeeeeaaaallllllly good) allow your self to practice self discipline by honoring what you feel is best for yourself despite what others may believe.
In every moment in our lives there is a decision to make. What to eat, what to do, where to go, what to wear, etc. With each decision we make we are saying "yes" to something... yes to the ice cream, yes to the binge watching, yes to the bar, yes to the dress (lol do you see what I did there?) but seriously.. Everytime we say "yes" to something we are saying "no" to something else. A no to the nutrients that our bodies need to thrive, a no to going for a walk, a no to getting enough sleep, etc.
The best thing we can do to practice radical self care is to be in our bodies and not in our brains. To tune into the feelings around questions like "what do I really need/want right now?" or "what's going to serve my highest good?" or "What will make me feel good?". This practice takes a lot of presence, a lot of awareness and a lot of time. But will a desire to live a life beyond your wildest dreams, you will get there.
In the meantime if you need support in your self care practice, be sure to reach out! I am always here to support you in anyway that I can!
In Love and Abundance,