I have wanted to keep my posts to a Monday morning, but I didn’t want to leave out an opportunity to talk about creating a “Self-care Sunday”. So, here we are!
I would say that the concept of self-care has only truly landed in my world in the last few months. I do remember when I was younger hearing from friends “you’ve got to look after number one before you can look after anybody else”, and I nonchalantly nodded my head, smiled and carried on with my life. It was only when I reached that point where I really couldn’t take care of myself to the standard that I needed that I was awakened to the necessity of self-care.
So, what does it mean? Self-care to me means saying YES to everything and anything that my body and heart tells me it needs, and to say NO to anything that sits outside of that scope. To say NO unapologetic-ally. Often we can feel a sense of guilt if we say “no” to others or explain that we cannot make a commitment to them, but really, why should we feel guilty? We are listening to what our bodies need and taking the time to fill ourselves up, to make ourselves soulFULL, which in turn will give us the energy needed to fully show up for the next opportunity.
We are absolutely no service to anybody or ourselves if we burn ourselves out by saying “yes” to everything when we are only able to partly show up. Have you ever been at a party that you were told you just had to go to, yet when you got there you couldn’t stop thinking about how long is enough time before it’s socially acceptable to go home? I have been in this place far too many times, simply because I did not listen to my body. Now, I do understand that not everyone in our lives is understanding or accepting of our own self-care needs. They expect us to show up and to participate at the expense of our very little energy. However, I would say to anybody reading here that this is their expectation, not yours, and they need to manage that themselves.
So, the fun stuff, what should you say YES to?
Anything you want!
Self-care for me is about creating a little ritual, or rituals. If I want to re-center myself after a crazy week, then I turn my phone onto do not disturb, put on some Tibetan sound bowl music, burn incense or Palo Santo, drink a wine or tea while doing a face mask, hair mask, nails. I read a book in bed. The house is clean, and everything is tidy, so my space is really calming. If I want to feel connected to society, I like to take a book or my journal and go to a local bar in the afternoon sun and drink a coffee or beer, again, with my phone on do not disturb. I really enjoy this ritual. I get to have small connections with strangers and feel like I’m a part of the world. Lastly, if I want to feel grounded then I take a bike ride or a walk in nature, usually while listening to some metal folklore music.
Whatever your self-care ritual might be, you should feel soulFULL afterwards. You should feel that you have energy within yourself, ready to progress into the next week and to serve yourself and others. Check in with yourself regularly to see if you need to apply some self-care time into your week as well.
You have permission to practice self-care.