When I ask people what they do for self-care, most don’t even understand what it is I am asking. And once I explain what self-care is, the usual response is, “I’m not good at that, I don’t usually get time for myself”. Most people are driving through life a hundred miles an hour and not taking the time to stop and refuel. The result is an empty tank. Driving on fumes and then wondering why they’re falling apart, or their relationships are falling apart, or why they’re overwhelmed and stressed and not enjoying the journey.
Your life is meant to be enjoyed. And one important factor in enjoying your life is taking the necessary time to SLOW down and Relax, Reflect, and Recharge.
I really like this definition of self-care by Mary McCoy on Money Crashers:
Self-care is a very active and powerful choice to engage in the activities that are required to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health. And in this case, overall health includes not just the physical, but the psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual components of an individual’s well-being.
Unfortunately self-care is not a priority in our society. The following statistics from Mary McCoy’s article are eye-opening to how most American’s live:
Self-care will look different for everyone. What is nurturing to one person may not be nurturing to another. Ask yourself the following questions to figure out what is rejuvenating to you:
If you don’t know the answer to these questions then you are most likely not practicing self-care. You probably often feel drained because you’re constantly going and giving to everyone around you but yourself. You have thoughts that self-care is selfish and means neglecting your responsibilities. You feel guilty even thinking about doing something nice for yourself.
These thoughts are fear and control speaking and will rob you of living life to the fullest. Nothing will make you feel more powerless then believing you are not a priority in your own life. It’s time to stop making excuses and start making yourself a priority. You will have much more to give when you stop and allow yourself to refuel.
Some practical examples of how to implement self-care are the following:
Don’t wait to start investing in yourself. Remind yourself that you are valuable and important too. As you start making yourself a priority you will find yourself able to extend yourself to others with much less stress and more enjoyment.
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