Self-Care: An Act of Courage
What would you say if I told you that self-care is an act of courage? Often when we think of self-care we may picture things like a relaxing day at the spa or a spontaneous decision to indulge in your favorite treat, or a night curled up on the couch with our favorite book. In all honesty, self-care looks different for everyone. Although all of these things can be considered self-care, there is a deeper meaning to intentionally practicing it daily. Knowing the root effects of self-care and finding positive ways to incorporate it into your daily life is essential to inner peace and happiness.
The first step in self-care is acknowledgment
To be able to practice self-care, you first have to recognize yourself as being the most important person in your own life. This active decision takes a lot of courage. It requires the courage to believe in yourself enough to say, “I’m important” and “my feelings matter,” to anyone, including, yourself. Oftentimes, society tells us, from a young age, that we as women must care for others above ourselves. We must spend our days caring for family, children, spouses and our home… the list goes on and on. Somewhere in the mix, caring for ourselves was lost. In order to take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves. This is the key to live a happy and fulfilling life.
The equation is quite simple:
Self-care + Self-love + Courage + Communication = Inner peace and tranquility.
Prioritizing self-care in your life is essential
How have you practiced self-care this week? My guess would be that you listed things such as: “I got the kids to the activities on time,” or “I got the dishes done,” and oh yes, “I finally organized my bills so I could have a handle on my financial situation.” Although these can be considered successes and important boxes that are checked off of your to-do list, they are generally not considered intentional acts of self-care. Self-care is more than the superficial things that we have to take care of to stay afloat in life. You must set aside time during each day to intentionally practice the act of self-care. Self-care is an act that you do for yourself to provide a sense of health and well-being so that you can accomplish the necessary tasks for all those around.
As the old saying goes “how are you going to care for everyone else if you don’t look after yourself first?” That’s what my midwife asked me when I had a difficult birth with one of my children. I was supposed to remain on bedrest for the best outcome for my child and I. My first thought was, “how am I going to do that and take care of the kids?” I kept telling myself, “It’s my job and responsibility to care for kids.” So for the first few days, I tried. I would hobble out of bed and slowly help them which caused more injury to myself. The situation got worse because I did not care for myself first. I am sharing this story with you to let you know that it is imperative that you take care of yourself through acts of self-care often. Self-care is not selfish, it’s non-negotiable!
Ways to Practice Self-Care
As your life coach, I want you to be the best version of yourself in all aspects. Make a point, and a plan, everyday to do at least one intentional self-care act.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to practice self-care:
- Use my 5-minute deep breathing exercise to realign your thoughts, focus and feelings.
- Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat, “I matter, I exist and I’m important.” This simple practice allows you to remind yourself that you matter.
- Start your day with a yoga flow.
- Set aside time every day to remove all electronic devices and distractions from your world.
- Practice meditation for 10 to 15 minutes (or longer!).
- Indulge in your favorite dinner or sweet treat.
- Take a walk around the neighborhood and take in the sights and sounds of your surroundings.
- Treat yourself to a massage.
What self-care act will you commit to now to start practicing daily or weekly? I would love to hear about the ways that you practice self-care in your life. Let’s connect to share best practices and help each other better connect with our innermost selves. You are worth it! Let’s Connect!