In the final articles in this 3-part series on self care, we’ll explore the third type of self care you might be looking for – inspiration and exploration.
And if you missed the second in this series on rest and rejuvenation, you can catch up here.
Self care is a daily way to maintain wellness on all levels – physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. It is a daily practice, a daily habit, an inviolate inclusion in your day.
Not all self care is created equal
And by that I mean not all forms of self care will be what you need at this time. This is why I’ve written this 3-part series, because what you need in the form of self care right now could be very different to what I need, or what your sister or your best friend needs.
There is no one size fits all. And all the suggestions in this and the other 2 articles are just that – suggestions. Feel free to make up your own completely tailoured self care routine.
Inspiration and Exploration
Is your life lacking stimulation and excitement? Many of us have lost interest in all that life can offer and have taken apathy to a whole new level.
If this is what’s happening for you right now, then self care activities that inspire you to explore and introduce more variety and adventure into your life are what you need.
At the other end of the spectrum to rest and rejuvenation is inspiration and exploration. Perhaps it’s more movement and more activity that you need to improve your self care?
Try a class you normally would never do – Mandarin, motor cycle maintenance, hip hop. Choose something radically different to your normal hobbies and interests, even if it’s just for one class. Don’t sign up for the purpose of learning as much as for exploring the exotic (at least to you).
Plan a surprise party for someone. Pick a fun theme, perhaps a progressive dinner (where every course is held at someone else’s home or restaurant), or only serve food that starts with the letter F. Buy a magazine on a topic you’d normally never read about and read it all the way through, picking out the things that surprise you. Take every afternoon off for a week (if you can) and pick activities to do that you normally wouldn’t – do this on the weekend if during the workaday week isn’t possible.
Create a vision book or board – a poster sized board filled with images of people and things that inspire you. Put this somewhere you can look at every day. Even if you don’t want to do a full vision board or book with multiple photos, choose 1 or 2 that inspire you and lift you up every time you look at them. Instead of a board, you can do this in a journal.
Take a series of photographs around a particular theme or just randomly as it takes your fancy. Organise them into books or slideshows for sharing with others at home, or share with others online, or simply enjoy them yourself.
Experiment with style
Try a new lipstick colour or hairstyle. Learn about hair and make-up styles from a bygone era (the 1940s and 50s perhaps) and emulate that style for a day or evening out. Wear an item of clothing you haven’t worn in ages.
Pretend you’re new to where you live and explore local spaces and places with fresh eyes. Eat out at new cafes or places you’ve never been to (you know, the ones you drive by and say “I must go there sometime”). Go to parks or attractions you’ve never been to, attend a local market, go to a local networking or community meeting with people you’ve not yet met. Go through the weekend paper and pick an exhibition, museum, live event, market or show that is completely new, fresh or foreign to you. Go to it.
These are very low cost activities that can give you a boost and make you think and feel differently about every day things. Sometime self-care means getting out of a self imposed rut, turning things upside down as a way of shaking up our old thinking and stagnant feelings.
I hope you have enjoyed this 3-part series on the many, many ways you can introduce more self care into your daily life.
I hope you do more than just read this series, though – I sincerely hope you give it a decent try (engage in daily self care for one month minimum) and that you notice and enjoy the difference it makes to your wellbeing.