What the f*ck is self care and why isn't it working?
Has your self care become just another item on your to do list? Just one more thing crammed into your already busy day? Has it become a task? Is it really doing what it's suppose to do?
I hear it all the time. "I've tried that." "That doesn't work." "None of things I do for self care work." "I am still stressed, depressed, anxious and drowning in life and my emotions."
Then, my friend, you are doing your self care wrong. Self care isn't just something we check off a list. It is something that is an act of self love and attention. When self care becomes something we have to do, it stops or doesn't work.
You can have the best intentions for self care. The right motives and still not benefit from it's affects if you are not engaging in your self care. Self care needs to you to be present, not thinking about the present or past. It needs your full attention.
How to create a self care practice that works for you
1. Listen you what you need. Self care practices change like our moods and schedules. One day, you might need yoga, the next to go for a run, the next a nap and then another day a funny cat video. Ask yourself, what do you need in this moment? At this time? What do you need to feel loved by you? Don't censor or judge what comes up. When we censor or judge, we've already stopped our self care from working.
2. Give yourself permission to honor what you need. Allow yourself to be flexible. What came up when you asked yourself what you needed? It's time to lean into what came up, a nap, a laugh, a hug, a cup of coffee, a bath, a run, yoga, art and on the list goes. Give yourself what you need. Honor what came up and dedicate the time to you. Even if you only have a few minutes, act on what came up. Doodle, run, stand in downward facing dog, watch a funny video. Give yourself permission to do what came up when you asked what you needed.
3. Now it's time to truly be present in honoring what you need. Give yourself permission to engage in whatever self care act came up. Set the timer, turn off your phone. Take a moment to ground yourself (I've included a grounding exercise to help but feel free to explore other methods and techniques). When self care works, it works because we are allowing ourselves to be in the moment, to let go of the worries of the future and memories of the past. We are focusing on right here, right now. Engage with your five senses, what do feel, see, taste, hear and smell? If you exercise or run, tune into your body and what it feels. Tune into the music and listen with all of you. Watching a movie? Let the movie consume you. Be completely present. If your mind starts to wander, bring back to the now, to your breathing, to your five senses.
Need ideas for things to do for self care, click here.
How will you honor you today?