In the world of self-help being like fast food drive-throughs, as in a dime a dozen and as many varieties as you can imagine, where do you begin? How can you keep from being overwhelmed with self-help when all you need is help from someone? In any self-help program self-care and self-love are going to be key ingredients. Enjoy this exploration on why Self-care is not for sissies, it takes diligence, vigilance and dedication to a daily practice to gain the results you are seeking.
Self-care has become a catch all word in the realm of self-help. But what is it really? Self-care is essential to our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. It is not self-indulgence when you can’t afford it; it is not arrogant or narcissistic behavior. Self-care is the practice of deeply caring for yourself first so that you are filled up enough to bring your best self to the world.
Self-care is putting your oxygen mask on first before helping those around you. In its basic form is it good nutrition, enough sleep, some movement of your physical body; it is enough mental stimulation to keep the brain thinking and expanding; it is the ability to process through the emotions of humanity and being connected to something that is greater than you, call it Spirit, source, creation or God.
It sounds so simple and basic, doesn’t it? But how good are we, really, at practicing the art of self-care? Without judgement, take a quick scan of your life? How balanced are you? How stressed are you? How fulfilled? Do you take the time to relax and play and laugh? Do you nurture your relationships with time and connection?
Or are you, like so many of us, running close to empty? Falling into bed exhausted at the end of a day only to wake up still tired and overwhelmed?
Self-care takes a diligence and vigilance to stay conscious and aware of your practice. True self-care becomes the very fabric of your being-ness in the world, providing a foundation for all that you Be and do.
When I was younger, I was super-women, single parent of two young children, I worked, I kept up on everything, by myself. I hadn’t learned to ask for help or even receive it, if it was offered. I was a master multi-tasker, often juggling many things at a time. But there was a cost to the super-woman syndrome. I was not truly present to anything. I flew through the motions, I did the tasks; from outer appearances, all was well and I rocked!
I was running on fumes rather than fuel. Since we were always on the go, there was no time to simply be. Then one day, everything crashed. Well, truth be told, I crashed and the house I built with straw sticks crumbled around me.
It was devastating. I felt like a failure and a fraud; like I’d let everyone down. What came from that experience though was a deep understanding that if I did not care for myself in a healthy, consistent manner, I would be no good to anyone else either, not my kids or my business or my friends.
As I began to make self-care as a priority, everything changed. My values became clear, I gave my attention fully to what was present in any moment. I began to see and feel and connect more deeply to my children and to my life as a living entity rather than something to be gotten through.
Self-Care is not for sissies. It means taking a stand for yourself; setting boundaries and saying No. It is asking for help when you need it or being vulnerable in a way that is initially uncomfortable.
It requires that you come to know yourself, your heart and soul; that you begin to love yourself completely and totally, just as you are. Self-love is crucial to self-care and self-care is fundamental to self-love. They go hand in hand; you can’t have one without the other. It can be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but your body, mind, heart and soul will thrive in new and miraculous ways when you master it.
Make a commitment to your Self. Put yourself first, fill your tank with love and care. Ask yourself every day what can I do today to practice self-care? What does my body need? My heart? My mind? My Spirit? Begin today a new practice of loving yourself by sitting quietly with your own self and asking the questions: What do I need? What would I like? What would I love right now? Then take a small simple action in the direction of your answers each day.
In-Joy and With Ease!
The Holistic Life Coach
Holistic & Natural Solutions for Health and Wellbeing