Tuesday, February 11, 2020

What is Self Care Really About

Self Care...what is it? what does it mean?

I am guessing you have heard the word self care a time or two, or the phrase you need to add self care into your routine/schedule/day, but what does it really look like?

In my option self care has become a buzz word, a badge just like the word busy or priority.  It is almost like a badge of honor when we say I am busy or I practice self care.  It seems like a word that people toss out there as a response to whatever life is like and bringing you right now.

If you are a mom, it is tossed out there in a way to be helpful, but for most it looks like one more thing on the list.  One more thing to spend time on, money, energy.

Why?  Because when people mention self care they usually mean: go get a massage, get a pedicure, get a coffee from a coffee shop, go shopping.

It begins to take the spin of selfishness, lazy, greed.  Go spend time and money on yourself, then you will be feeling back to normal, or you will be in a better mindset, and so on.

But really, what is self care?  And as we grow more independent, aren't we taking care of ourselves anyways?  Or at least we should be. 

True self care doesn't look the way most people think or say it does, and it isn't the suggestions that most people give often.

Sure, a massage feels good (but the idea of having someone else giving a massage isn't appealing to some), or getting your nails done looks pretty when it is done and feels nice at the time, but that doesn't get to the route of the issue.

It only masks what is going on.  True self care means peeling back the layers, digging in, healing, releasing.  It can take on many forms and it doesn't have to cost a thing. 

But what if instead of using material things to mask over the deeper reason you need self care and what it truly is that you need, we embrace where we are at in the moment.  Assess it for what it is and really take a good solid look.

Adding bits into your day, each day in the form of something that is just for you has it's benefits.  But it can be as simple as taking 5 minutes every day to sit and do nothing.  It can be praying, journaling, reading, taking pictures, working out, cooking, cleaning.  It can be stepping outside, going for a walk, working out, watching the sunset, listen to the birds, watch the kids as they do their own thing.  It can be spending quality time on your marriage, intimacy, talking.  It can be letting it all out, even if it means being vulnerable. 

The list does truly go on and on, especially when you take a different look at it.

Self care is about truly filling yourself up.  It allows you to be the best version of you possible in that moment.  It opens your heart up to release and feel freer.  It is a part of you, your day in the natural ebb and flow.  It gives you a chance to fill you up with what you truly need, then also be able to help fill those around you.

Recently I asked over on My Mama Side's Facebook page what is your definition of self care?

A good friend of mine responded with: "Things I do to help better myself for my family/those around me. For me it is: - prioritize getting enough rest - exercising on a regular basis (even if it is just a walk or simply getting up and moving) - not over scheduling myself or our family - drinking enough water - limiting social media usage/phone time 😊"

I love this definition!  It speaks to who she is, where she wants to be and why, and what she will do to get there. 

But as you can see, it doesn't mention anything about getting a massage, nails done, etc (the typical responses to self care).  It gets to the heart.  It fulfills mind, body, soul.  Not only does it fulfill, it is satisfying and it carries you through whatever else is going on in life. 

Did you notice, not a single one of the things she listed have a monetary cost?  Did you notice that most of what she said is stuff she incorporates into the day through their schedules, routines, and daily practices?

Self care isn't an add on.  It is a part of your day, your rhythm.  It sets you up for the day, carries you through. 

You may not realize it yet, but there may already be pieces of it in your day already.  Take a moment to look through your day and see if you can see it running throughout your day.

You may need to change your view and definition on what self care is or isn't.  You may need to broaden your perspective.

So, tell me, what is your definition of self care?

What do you do for self care?  What does it look like? Share below

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