Self-care is a trendy concept these days. I usually see it around the internet for women reclaiming personal time to rebalance themselves, a need to be selfish as the best form of self-love. That’s true - but, I don’t see this often as a non-negotiable for ALL people.
No matter your gender, race, monetary status, or parenthood/not…. All people need time for themselves to recharge. We are not able to run around all day, every day with our job(s), children, tasks for other people, social engagements, whatever, because we also need solo time alone.
We are creatures designed to both work and to relax.
We must be present to our own body, heart, and mind, and to attune to it -- and we've gotten far from this model.
We need time to feel what’s sore or easeful in our body and mind, to be aware of our gut (whether we’re already full from eating, for example), and to process all the emotions of the day. (Note - it’s important to not just stuff it all away and use an escape-mechanism of “too much work” to dissociate from the truth.)
The world around us doesn’t seem to slow down. It’s kinda getting created that way on purpose (I’m thinking) so that we’re always working, making something that costs money or providing a service, being consumers ourselves in shops and online, and everything else. It’s a rat race. It’s about money. It’s depleting us because we’re just doing wayyyy too much.
We are human BEINGS not human doings.
If you’re tired, you’re probably doing too much. It’s really a no-brainer and obvious answer.
I see time and again with my bodywork and coaching clients, the problem of “I don’t have time to take care of myself,” yet, if you’re not taking care of yourself, who will? Whether the sessions with these clients are about making time for healthy homemade meals or time to workout/do yoga/go outside in the sun, or even their need to have time to be and do nothing productive… what we’re talking about is our literal restoration time. It’s our need for body and brain reset. We need more than just the restoration during our sleep (post on sleeping like a pro coming soon), we also need non-doing waking hours. This is the time when our minds can wander, daydream, create visions, have sudden insights.
Think about it for a moment: what are you doing/being when you greatest insights hit you? Is it on a walk, during a workout, humming while in the shower, moving your body in another way?
That’s all time spent caring for yourself, aka self-care. The time where YOU get your own undivided attention instead of the myriad other tasks and people.
What a gift!
So, if you find yourself doing a lot, then crashing and needing a reset - I propose another lifestyle choice. DELIBERATELY plan for down-time:
Daily routines that prioritize your own self-time, the time that’s sacred for you to establish or reset yourself - like morning meditation, journaling, coffee/tea, walks, yoga rituals; like midday solo-lunch break in the sunshine; like nighttime bath, skincare/hygiene/self-maintenance routines
Every now and then, like monthly or quarterly or yearly, bigger splurges of time all at once for personal reset. I like doing regular internet/technology fasts to disconnect from the hustle and bustle, sometimes solo retreats in the mountains, sometimes day-long hikes with no one else or even with a friend or two. Of course you could also plan for week-long or more yearly retreats.
The point is, make it yours. But make it intentional.
Take care of yourself.
Tell me how you'll take care of yourself this week in the comments below 🙏