Self Care is nurturing yourself (doing the things that you know make you feel better). Self care often looks different for different people. For some it is journaling, drawing, taking a walk, soaking in a bubble bath, reading, exercising, meditation, deep breathing, music, etc. It is basically anything that leaves you feeling refreshed, recharged and rejuvenated. Because it makes you feels so plug into yourself and re-energized it is ESSENTIAL to your ability to face the daily world.
When you feel refreshed it's easier to take on hard things, deal with crisis, or put up with people that are difficult. Self care makes for better moms, better individuals, better spouses, and better humanitarians. Because let's face it, when we feel good we treat other around us better, and interact with the world in a more respectful and loving way. All good, right?
So why aren't we walking around all respectful and loving, and feeling good all the time? Why don't we do the things that plug us in and refresh ourselves? The main answer I hear to this question is: I don't have time. But what most people are really saying when they say they don't have time is: I feel selfish making time for myself when there are so many other responsibilities and people who need me. And to that I say - Yes, it is hard to choose yourself when you take on so much, and have so much to do, AND that is why it is so important. Plus, YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Now for my blunt hard to hear answer - and when I say this I am mostly saying it to myself because even I am guilty of thinking I can't put down the tasks of the day to take care of myself... so here is my harsh truth (that to me feels like a slap across the face, with the bitter sweet sting of reality). If I take 5 minutes for myself (to do something that makes me feel better - (going to the bathroom with the door shut) or (playing piano)) the world will NOT end. I am not so very important to everything that things will self-destruct if I take a moment. To believe that I am is pretty egocentric, even when it feels like it's all on me. But if it feels like it's all on me, hello that means I am stressed, and what is going to help the most with that? Plugging into myself and doing some good old fashion self care. In reality, if I really am all that important, then I better be taking those 5 minutes, and ideally even more than 5 minutes, because yes, a LOT rests on my shoulders,..so I better strengthen those shoulders with some me time ASAP.
Addionally, when you feel guilty about taking me time... you need to practice some self-talk. So here are some worlds you can borrow when that voice that says "you shouldn't be doing this" pops up:
"A lot of people depend on me. Taking time for me helps them".
"I am worthy of time and my body deserves my respect".
"When I feel shame it is my old self trying to recruit me back into feeling bad. I don't have to go. I am a champion in my life."
"As breathing nurtures my body, this nurtures my soul. I don't plan to hold my breathe, why deny myself this form of air?"
"I'm worth it."
"Replenishment now saves me from using sick time later."
"I am teaching my kids that I am worthy of time, and respect. Through modeling this, they are learning that they are too."
Taking time to nurture yourself is the core of self care. Take time today to connect with yourself and re-establish your worth. You can do it, now and every day. You are worth it.