We live in a society that has not taught us to be kind to ourselves. We are told to work very hard until we are at least 65 years old, and then we will be rewarded with a life of leisure, provided we have anything left in us to enjoy it. What I have experienced within myself, is this unrealistic thought that when I have worked hard enough, some person in authority will appear to notify me, that I can have a rest. But regardless of the project, or the lengths gone to, no one ever showed up to give me a blankie and some chocolates. What I have learned, and continue to re-learn, is that self-care is vitally important. Now your first thought is probably, that you are to busy. And I believe you. However, the truth is, that if you are busy, there are a lot of things/people depending on you. And as much as you try, you cannot water from a well that is dry.
What is self-care? Well, to me, self-care is specific to the person. I also believe that self-care is ever changing. Here are some suggestions on self-care you can try.
- Tastes – wasabi peas, chocolate, peppermint, lemons, ginger, oranges, grapefruit
- Sight – nature, art, pictures (pets, family, and/or friends)
- Smell – lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, citrus, rain
- Touch – clay, ice, warm blanket, weight of body, massage
- Sound – rain, Tibetan singing bowels, silly songs, laughter
- Mindfully eat/drink: orange, chocolate, hot chocolate
- Guided meditation (there are several free ones on youtube)
- Body scan – begin at your toes and check in with every part of you
- Deep cleansing breaths
- Take a relaxing bubble bath
- Treat yourself to a yummy treat or nice meal
- Buy yourself something nice; piece of clothing, nail polish, art supply, book
- Enjoy your guilty pleasure; book, tv show, movie, etc
- Sew, quilt, crochet
- Paint, draw, color
- Write- poem, story, music
What exactly is not self-care? Things that detract from yourself. Say that you receive an invitation to join someone for lunch, and after going to lunch, you don’t feel improved. That is okay, however that is not self-care.
With such ambiguous definition, self-care can be a daunting task. Perhaps, it would be more appropriate to view the task of approaching self-care, as being on the crest of a rollercoaster, breathing in to the intense rush. Or sitting to a fancy buffet, all for your sampling. It’s important to remember that self-care is a lifelong journey, failure in one moment is a reminder to re-engage in the next.
Author: KayLee Taylor, CSW
Photo Taken by: www.liveoncelivewild.com