Self-care is something I never truly understood for many years. I had no notion of how critical daily self-care is, as a ritual, a habit. And I couldn’t engage in self-care because I was being far too self-critical instead.
What I now know about self-care:
- Self-care is the opposite of self-criticism. You are doing one or the other – you can’t do both, not at the same time anyway.
- Self-care signals a genuine and well-developed, well-cultivated belief in one’s innate worth. Independent of any external success criteria (such as wealth and status), self-care signals complete belief that “you’re worth it”, just as you are.
- Self-care is a habit. It’s something you do, every single day. It is woven into the fabric of your life. It isn’t a choice you make or a special thing you do – it’s just part of how you live your life.
- Self-care is not self-indulgence. It’s not a self-absorbed, selfish activity. It’s more about purposeful, positive and proactive self-preservation.
- Self-care is essential critical when you are journeying back from any unhealthy or addictive behaviour, like overshopping. Many of us who have overshopped live with a constant hum of self-dislike or even self-loathing. It’s one of the reasons that kept us shopping. Self-care is the antidote to all that self-loathing.
- Self-care reconnects us to our lives, and to our innate worth as human beings. Addictive or unhealthy behaviour, such as overshopping, does the opposite – it disconnects us from our lives, our feelings, our experiences, and our self-worth. That’s why daily and genuine self-care is so important to healing.
- Self-care has many purposes – healing from unhealthy or addictive behaviours is one, creating a life you love to live full of simple pleasure is another. It isn’t all about healing, it can be simply about health and living a happy life.
- Self-care is a daily way to maintain wellness on all levels – physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual.
- There are many forms of self-care. Determining what kind of self-care you need right now is found in understanding what’s currently lacking in your life. If you are lacking stimulation and excitement, then activities that inspire you to explore and introduce more variety and adventure into your life are what you need. If your life is so full now you are overwhelmed or simply can’t fit another high energy activity into it, then activities that bring, rest, reflection and rejuvenation into your life are what you need. If your life is feeling empty and flat, then activities that bring you greater connection to others, your senses and the fascinating world are what you need.
- The list of possible self-care activities you can institute as part of your daily life is only limited to your imagination. Everything from a daily body scrub, morning walk, 3 minutes early writing through to an afternoon stroll or time-out with your novel, through to joining a dance class or learning to ride a motorcycle and playing tourist can be part of your self-care.
- Self-care needn’t cost a cent, and they needn’t take much time.
- Daily self-care gives you a boost and shakes up your thinking and feelings 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.