Today we are talking about self care, and who isn't talking about self care? It's a real popular topic, but not everyone is practicing it or talking about it in a real way. Self-indulgence isn't the same as real care- we want lasting habits that keep our cups full, not just feel good in the moment.
We all have been at the bottom of our barrel, the bottom of that cup when there is nothing left in it. It feels like running on fumes. When you have a week that overwhelms the crud out of you, when you are hyper-emotional, when the start of the day feels like too much, when you are annoyed or sad or angry for no real big reason- you may have an empty self-care cup. And you may be trying to fill it improperly and feel confused and frustrated with how to take lasting care of yourself.
It can sometimes be a form of self-care to take time out for yourself, to feel pampered and treat yourself. But real self care is a daily practice that nourishes you from the inside out, not the outside in.
Our modern lives tend to be very superficial, over-scheduled, pressured to perform, on-demand, easily compared to others, very cyber-connected and not always a great representation of what our bodies really need. We are holistic beings, meaning that many parts of who we are make up a whole. These parts include our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and psychological aspects of the entirety of who we are. All of these aspects need to be nurtured and cared for in order for us to feel a sense of well-being.
Coping with stress can look a lot of different ways, and some sneaky habits can look like self-care when it isn't. Some of those are grabbing an alcoholic drink, getting on your phone, watching tv, going shopping, These things will let you down in the end! Reacting to stress is not self-care. Self care is what you do when you aren't stressed, to be prepared for the next stressful event.
Some healthier options for keeping your cup full include enjoying quiet reflective time, making relational boundaries, pulling away from screen time, spending time in nature, eating nutritive foods, moving your body, leaning into intimacy. Real good self care, you have to talk yourself into, because it's work.
Recognizing what empties the cup, recognizing what fills the cup and having a self-awareness and and daily gauge on where you are at, what you need, and how to meet your needs well.
It's a beautiful domino effect that ends up happening in your life once you get intentional about it, but it takes a lot of analysis and participation to get the positive results that make it meaningful for you.
It's important for us to model this for each other. It's not easy to be in the practice of self-care, but when we let other women see what we are up to, it encourages and informs them to take care of themselves as well. We can influence one another for good.
What are some of the false self-care routines you can work to do less of? What are some of the deeper nourishing activities you can do more of to practice real holistic self care?