That word conjures images of bubble baths, pampering and massages; but, truly, self-care is so much more than these indulgences. While amazing for reducing stress, these things will only give you temporary results if Self-Care does not become a habit.
I recently read an article from Forbes Magazine on LinkedIn proposing that Self-Care is a not an indulgence but more of a discipline. This concept got me thinking…is self-care a discipline, a practice, an indulgence or, all of the above?
**I’m about to get SUPER word nerd on you for a second but, if you stay with me, I’ll pull this alllll together. (I Promise!)**
According to the dictionary, care is defined as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection of someone.
The word practice is the repeated exercise in (or performance of) an activity to acquire, or maintain, proficiency in it.
Discipline is training someone to obey rules or a code of behavior.
Self-discipline is the practice of training yourself to behave in a particular way without anyone telling you what to do.
Self-care is a series of repeated behaviors to gain proficiency in what is necessary for the health and protection of YOUR welfare.
Repetition of these behaviors will lead YOU to behave in a way that will bring the most vibrancy to your life without giving it a second thought.
So, I know- that was a little heavy.
But I think piecing this concept together in the most basic way is necessary to understand the complexity behind the loaded word ‘self-care.’ We live in a world filled with distractions and ‘practicing’ these behaviors repeatedly can be a challenge for the most self-disciplined.
But, it’s our essence. And, we need to tend to OURSELVES.
Because we are not currently and we have so much more potential than what we are using.
I believe self-Care is OUR superpower. Better yet…self-care gives us the TOOLS to tap into our own, individual superpowers. When we feel our best- we ARE our best. When we are at our best, we can accomplish anything.
Of course, when I made the discovery of the self-care-superpower tandem, I headed to google and found a blog post by Suzanne Eder, Teacher, Healer, Author, Guide.
First, I was excited to see I wasn’t the only one with this theory; but, then, I dug a little deeper to find this in reference to her former life coach, Tama Kieves:
“She often uses the word ‘Superpower’ to convey the incredible potency of our desires and intuition and other inner resources to transform our lives from the inside out.
Like Tama, (Ms. Eder is) passionate about helping people recognize their superpowers and consciously cultivate them to create lives that light them up.”
Mouth on the floor.
Who doesn’t want to create a life that lights them up?
So beautifully and eloquently said. More importantly, this statement strengthened my theory.
If we are attuned to our bodies and care for them in the way we need, we can tap into our own potent energy in the most effective way possible. The more we practice individual care, the more benefit we receive and the closer we can come to building the kick ass life of our dreams (reference to my girl, Jo Devoe!)
But, what does Self-Care look like in a practice? Or, as a discipline?
This week, I asked our Instagram friends the question- “What does self-care look like to you?” and I was so grateful for the responses. The comments focused on diet, exercise and stress reduction, but the the common theme was centered around healing the body and soothing the soul.
This led me to the simple conclusion: Creating a structure of short-term things that make us feel the greatest long-term will allow us to perform at our best.
Proper nutrition, exercise and stress reduction are the foundations for proper care. But, what else can we do to live a flourishing life? Are we making ourselves a priority and being diligent in our care routines? If not, why? Where do we start?
Well, it all starts with the first step!
The first steps to Developing a Self-Care Practice:
1. The ‘Permission Slip.’
Choose to show up for yourself.
Decide that you deserve to feel your most vibrant.
Commit to taking the steps necessary to be the best version of you.
Give yourself permission to take care of yourself.
NOTE: If now is not your time to try to develop a practice, that’s okay. Bookmark our page and come back when you are ready. Don’t set yourself up for failure. This post isn’t going anywhere. I promise.
BUT….if now is your time, Grab a Notebook and let’s go!
2. Journal It!
First, close your eyes and imagine you at your best. How do you feel, physically? What does your headspace look like? Think of 5 things that version of you probably did to be in that perfect place. Did it include a walk, a healthy meal, a good book, being with people or alone? Really connect with that version of yourself to see how you feel.
Then, set your timer for 10 minutes and journal out what that perfect day looks like.
Did your perfect day include any time for rest? Relaxation? What does that look like to you?
Make a list of the activities that bring you the most peace.
3. Schedule It.
Schedule 15 minutes a day for the next week to yourself to have time with your journal.
Reread what you have written once a day and reflect on what you’ve written. Rewrite and revise as necessary.
See if you discover new ways to rest, relax and recharge?
When finished, repeat this week’s mantra and close your Journal.
4. Daily Mantra:
Self-Care is a discipline essential to my physical, mental and spiritual health. I will take time to rest and recharge.
On day one, write this week’s mantra in your journal. You will repeat this at the conclusion of your journal session each day.
5. Rest & Restore.
It may seem counter-intuitive to find ways to rest and restore the cornerstone as a self-care discipline but, stillness opens the door for the truth to bubble up from the surface.
This week is all about learning that you deserve a to take care of yourself, identifying your peace and stepping out of your mind and into your surroundings.
Practice the steps above. It’s only 15 minutes a day….We think you’re worth it!
Join us next Sunday with a deeper look at a Self-Care Practice and how to strengthen our foundation.
In honor of July being self-care month, let’s explore self-care and what this means.
Drop me a line to let me know what self-care means to you!