I am a HUGE fan of self care, I see it as my own personal “I love you” to myself. I move, eat, and consume knowledge because I love myself and I believe that because of this, I am able to be a better person day in and day out, not just for myself but for my family and those close to me.
Those close to me deserve the best version of me because why would anyone want the “half-ass” version of anyone they depend on, love, or are friends with? Maybe its an obvious question but, we need to ask ourselves, when the act of self care gets a little burdensome, how are we showing up when we don’t practice daily self care?
There are days when self care is exactly what we need; the hot bath, the good book, the bowl of homemade chicken soup, all of those things do our bodies good and warm our souls. There are other days, however, where self care really starts to feel like a chore, like its almost a burden; that early morning trip to the gym when you would rather be sleeping or, not taking a second serving of dessert even thought it is so amazingly delicious. Why torture yourself with this so called “self care” when all you really want to do is sleep in, skip the gym, and eat all the desserts?
Because, when we don’t show up for ourselves, it is hard to show up and be our best selves for the people who we love and care for.
Here is an example of what I mean:
You know that extra 10 minutes of sleep you “think” is going to make you feel better? That same 10 minutes was going to be spent doing a short workout just to get your body moving? Remember? So, you hit your snooze, roll over, and close your eyes. You don’t actually sleep but you convince yourself that you are getting some precious rest, and 10 minutes later, you are up. No workout and not any more rested than you were 10 minutes ago, you now realize that you didn’t show up for yourself. This feeling stays with you through out the day; it frustrates you, it wears on you, it slows you down, it brings you down, and all of this begins to show in the interactions you have with the people around you. You get short with people, easily irritated, annoyed, and just flat our tired of dealing with the simplest of things. You get the idea, right?
On the days when self-care feels like a chore, we need to remember that, in the end, it really makes us a better person. Not just because we are working on ourselves but also because the people who we love for and care for get a better version of us as well.
When self care is practiced, we become happier, more patient, and more present. These gifts lift stress from our lives and bring joy and contentment to the people we love.
Where do you start if you have not been practicing self care?
It might seem like you don’t have the time but, I promise, you do. Take a walk around the block, enjoy a cup of tea while listening to music or reading a book, meditate, paint your nails, listen to a podcast, or write in your journal.
The secret is to start small with the tools you have right now. Maybe, this means only 5 minutes a day but, that’s 5 minutes you weren’t giving to yourself before.
Make it a new year intention.
As we get closer to 2017 (we are only days away at this point), we need to make it our intention (not a goal) to give a little time to ourselves each day.
The reason I say intention and not goal?
A goal has an end point while an intention is a change in the way we live each day. Self care should not have an end point, we should continue it now and always, for ourselves and those we love.