In a recent article about tailouring your self care routine, I proposed that the first step in creating and sustaining a self care routine is to determine what’s missing from your life and therefore what kind of self care you need.
In this 3-part series, I’m going to take you through 3 kinds of self-care you might want to explore and incorporate into your life. The first kind of self care we’ll discuss is about sensing and connecting.
Self care is all about your daily wellbeing. It’s about your sense of wellness and inner equilibrium. Self care is a preventive measure – it’s something you do on a daily basis to keep your entire system — physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual — balanced and in shape.
Sensing and Connecting
Is your life feeling empty, flat and lacking in texture? Many of us have felt stuck in a rut and bored with the humdrum of must-do activities.
If this is the case, then daily self care activities that bring you greater connection to others, your senses and the natural world are what you need.
Sensing and connecting is about tuning into your five senses and to what connects you to others.
Enjoy all there is to see and enjoy in your world. Everything from looking through old photographs that make you smile, to the wonder of sunsets and sunrises, to spirit lifting television. Don’t forget inspiring online video, gazing on fresh flowers in your garden, cloud gazing, people watching, the fruit and veggie section of your supermarket, and watching your pets while they snooze and snore. There’s so much to see!
Sound can be soothing or stimulating. Listen to a CD all the way through while lying on the couch and doing nothing else, play music while you cook, drive or exercise, attend a poetry reading or live musical event, listen to motivational talks (try TED.com), sing, really listen to a friend or family member when you talk to them on the phone. Tune into what you’re listening to and choose the things that make you feel great.
Taste and smell
Our olfactory senses can ground and enliven us. Consider the allure of brewing tea or coffee, the taste and smell of favourite fruits and vegetables, the pleasure of combining new flavours, the heady whiff of perfume, scented candles, baking bread, a cool glass of water on a hot day or after exercising… Engage your olfactory senses!
In an increasingly physically isolated world (which we often don’t notice because our digital connections may still be quite high), it’s essential to literally touch and be touched. Use your hands to bake, bead, dig, knead, stitch, stick, stroke and strum. Get a massage, give a massage, hug someone.
Connecting is one sure fire way to increase your self care – pick the kind of connection you need right now. Host a dinner party, volunteer for a worthy cause, say thank you, do something unexpected and nice for someone else (without the expectation of a thank you), start a book club, join a choir, learn a new fun thing (stand up comedy, golf, book binding), go out in nature, eat outside, meditate, journal. There are endless ways to connect – with others, with nature, with yourself.
Low or No Cost
These are ALL low to no cost activities that require the smallest investment of time, and that’s exactly what these activities are – an investment which will pay you back many-fold, if you do them regularly.
Pick one activity and do it for 10 – 20 minutes a day. Notice and enjoy the difference sensing and connecting is to how good you feel.
Stay tuned for the next article in this 3-part series where we’ll be exploring rest and rejuvenation.