You are overwhelmed at work. You have many projects, all highly demanding and contain looming deadlines. Your calendar is jam packed with social events which include greasy food and alcohol. Your washing is piling up. The cupboards are devoid of any resemblance of real food. You feel like there is never enough time and that you are always behind. To make up for it, you completely skip breakfast to get into the office early. You eat lunch on the run and stop going to the gym. You give and give of yourself until you collapse into bed exhausted and completely and utterly empty.
When we are stressed out and overwhelmed with life, self-care is usually the first practice to be dropped. We, especially women, have a tendency to meet the needs of those around us with complete neglect, acknowledgement or even awareness of what our own soul is screaming for.
Self-care is a term that is widely thrown around these days but what does it actually mean and how can we implement it into our own lives?
Self-care is really quite simply the care we provide to our self from our self. This includes having the ability to recognise and identify our own emotional, spiritual, physical and mental needs. More than this, it is inclusive of taking the proper steps to meet these needs. Self-care includes making some time in our busy schedules to do some of the activities that nurture our body, re-energise our soul and reawaken our inner spirit. It goes beyond just meeting our own needs though, it is about the food we feed ourselves, the way we hold our body, the words we speak to others and ourselves and what information we feed our mind.
When we start to neglect our soul’s needs and forget to nurture our beautiful self, we become unhappy. This neglect brings with it an array of negative emotions including: frustration, disconnection, resentment, low self-esteem, sadness, anxious. We convince ourselves that we are tired when really we are just uninspired. Having given everything to everyone, our tank is empty.
The only way that we can effectively help others is if we first take care of our self. Self-care is one of the most beautiful things we can do for our self. It doesn’t just benefit our own life but the lives of those around us. From the place of caring, we emit an infectious energy which attracts people towards us.
The following are some suggestions in how we can show our self the care we deserve:
– Make a date night with yourself where you can fill it with your favourite activities: ice skating, a trip to the beach, dinner and a movie, a comedy show
– Spend time exploring a new hobby: ceramics, jewellery making, pottery
– Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes your soul: take a hike, bush walk, beach walk, swimming in the sea, visit a museum exhibition
– Read your favourite book out in the sun
– Take yourself on a picnic
– Watch movies that make you laugh
– Get your creative juices flowing: Paint, draw, write, colour or sew
– Meditate out in the garden or at a park
– Buy yourself some flowers, a hot coffee or a cold juice
– Unplug from all technology for an hour, a night or a day
– Take a new class for fun: hip hop, belly dancing, ballet
– Eat something you really, really enjoy lowly: taking in all the different flavours, textures
– Have a long bath using essential oils, candles and incense
– Make a pot of herbal tea
– Do a mini declutter of an area of your home and recycle 3 things
– Volunteer your time and help someone
– Stretch it out with an at home DVD or YouTube
Self-care is the ACT of doing something special, just for us, because we are a worthy and worthwhile person and showing our self this is invaluable in cultivating feelings of compassion, joy and love within our heart and soul.