Self-care is a phrase that is now so freely dropped into conversations.
What springs to mind when you say those words to yourself?
Me-time? A long soak in the bath? A beauty ritual?
Maybe your self-care goes a little deeper than the care for our external body but is something that leaves you feeling internally nourished, an act of care for your soul.
Maybe for you, a bit of time is set aside for meditation or conscious breathing, weekly yoga, being in nature, dancing, listening to music, being on your own?
No act of Self-Care is right or wrong, it can change daily or weekly but that act of putting YOUR needs first is what ultimately matters.
Today I as write down these thoughts, it is a beautiful Sunday morning.
I made a powerful choice to place my phone in another room & to only answer a call from a friend or family member. Nothing else.
I am way happier on the days when I barely dip into social media.
I made some beautiful black tea for myself & my (still asleep) husband, & then I put away all the clothes that were covering my favourite hot pink chair (there was a rule apparently, that no clothes shall ever be draped over this chair that I had re-covered… ahem…anyway…).
I picked up my book & sat & read in a now uncluttered chair, I drank my tea & read my book… absolute bliss.
This was an act of self-care. I didn’t want to lose that Sunday morning vibe so I purposely avoided going downstairs, if I went downstairs I would start tidying up.
I wanted to read my book while the house was quiet, with no tech around me, no adverts, no pop ups, no waiting for those few seconds when you can skip the advert.
Just a book, my tea & me.
The book I was reading & still return back to is Radiant Rest by Tracey Stanley. It is absolutely wonderful.
Reading this deeply insightful & beautifully written book about Yoga Nidra is in itself an act of selfcare, to practice any of the wonderful teachings she offers within the book will help you to embody it.
To describe something to someone is possible but you have to experience it & feel it to truly understand.
Let's take the example of trying an amazing piece of chocolate...you can savour it, describe it, but unless the other person actually tastes it, they cannot understand & have a shared experience with you.
As I read Tracey’s words there was a sentence that as simple as it seemed, felt so profound & I needed re-read a few times.
“Self-care helps us to move beyond the limits that others have placed on us”.
What hit me the most & what was re-affirmed to me by these words was this;
Self-care is the ultimate step towards empowerment.
Once we take an action, however small, once we begin to put the care of our SELF in our own hands & see it is our responsibility,
We become free.
No longer are you in the loop of “expectation” and feeling let down because the reality vs expectation is out of balance.
Your care, your happiness can come from you.
This doesn’t mean we close ourselves off. Far from it, love & receive love with an open heart but never depend on it & never expect it.
Yes of course self-care can be a holiday.
It can be sitting and reflecting on how you really feel after an hour of scrolling on social media
It can be reading a book that you get lost in
It can be a massage & self-massage
It can be a walk
It can be gardening or creating a house-plant oasis within your home
It can be making jewellery
It can be music
It can be writing
It can be painting
It can be swimming
It can be listening to a podcast
Do you know what your needs are?
It’s wonderful if you do but there are a lot of people out there that may feel a little lost. They have put themselves last for so so long, they have forgotten what lights them up, or could ignite a shift towards the beauty of self-care.
Can I share something with you?
If anyone was to “judge” or “assess” anything I’d ever painted – it would be deemed pretty dreadful (seriously) but… the utter joy I have found in messing around with water colours, having a play with colours & shapes feels AMAZING.
Here is another few words I came across a few years ago & this also hit me so hard…
“I held myself back because I thought you had to be an artist in order to start making art”
Did you used to love drawing? Did you stop at some point in your life due to a comment that knocked your confidence?
Apply the above to anyone that has ever taken the shine away from something you truly enjoyed.
I’ll leave that with you.
Another thing I want to share with you.
I cannot play a musical instrument. At all.
I recently treated myself to a Tongue Drum (yeah I know, go and have a look on google, see you in a min). It is fabulous. I make up little tunes, I then forget them & make up more, I lose hours on it.. you don’t need any training, just play.
I have an overwhelming urge to write when something inspires me but I’m not a writer, my grammar is most probably awful but my words and thoughts are all from my heart. That is what matters to me most.
I digressed a little. My point is, self-care can be anything you want it to be.
So self care matters because YOU matter. You are a unique strand of light & energy in this entire universe & you will never exist again in the form you are now.
Your needs count, your dose of happiness, you seeking out new things that light you up or revisiting things that did that for you as a child/teenager.
Don’t wait for anyone.
Keep taking care of YOU.
What was the care like that you received from your parent/s?
Did you feel listened to?
Were you overlooked for another sibling or put on a pedal stool?
How does this impact your life now?
Do you feel supported & loved within your current relationship? Listened to? Supported emotionally?
Where do you put your needs, after everyone else is cared for? or just now & then when it’s possible?
How much are you compromising your needs?
What did you used to feel passionate about?
When do you feel most at ease & happy?
Do you need to learn how to rest?
I cannot recommend the book Radiant Rest by Tracey Stanley enough.
In gratitude to such inspiring teachers like Tracey