Wanted & Needed: Self Care
The way our world is turning these days, I think I can safely say that we are all in need of some self-care. We are all facing the concerns of keeping ourselves, as well as our families, safe and healthy, and often our own self-care takes a back seat to that of others. Even for me. In my Alaka’i work my goal is to provide resources for others as they move through life’s transitions and I was even planning to facilitate a face-to-face retreat focused on self-care last weekend which had to be postponed and gave me pause to check in with myself. How can I be fully present for others if I am also feeling the need for self-care? So, I want to take this opportunity to explore some simple ways that we can make self-care part of our daily routine so that our cup is full enough to overflow to others.
It helps to start with some kind of personal assessment on the various aspects of your life to see where you might need to refill the cup. Start with these four key areas:
- Physical wellbeing – Are you eating healthy? Exercising regularly? Get enough sleep?
- Emotional health – Are you maintaining a work/life balance? Are you able to express your feelings? Do you have a practice of gratitude and/or mindfulness?
- Social wellbeing – Do you spend time with friends? (even virtually) Are you maintaining connections? Having good conversations?
- Spiritual health – Do you spend time in nature? Set aside time for spiritual practices? Support a cause that is important to you?
If you find that some areas may be lacking, what can you do to begin to build in self-care? Let’s start with identifying some small actions to support your efforts. Create a list of what you would like to add or actions you want to take for the following:
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- For relaxation: try a guided meditation, turn on a diffuser with your favorite calming essential oil, try an adult coloring book, sit/walk in nature.
- For health: get outdoors, walk/run, stay hydrated, plan healthy meals for the week.
- For connections: call/FaceTime/Zoom with friends, write a letter, volunteer, compliment a new friend.
- For rejuvenation: declutter your closet/phone/home, watch a sunrise or sunset, exercise.
- For comfort: wrap up in a blanket, read a good book, make a cup of tea, have your favorite comfort food.
- For expression: try journaling, listen to your favorite music (and dance), draw or paint or work on some other artistic project.
Now, take that list and decide what you will work on as a daily practice, or once a week, once a month, or yearly. Start a daily practice by setting three self-care check-in times throughout the day. In the morning, how will you start the day? Mine is a 10 minute meditation. Mid-day check-in to recharge and reset. Mine is to be sure I am staying hydrated. And finally, at night, how do you end your day and prepare for tomorrow? For me, that is a gratitude check-in, what are the 3 things I am grateful for that day. You can take it one step further and create a vision board to keep your self-care goals front and center.
You don’t have to do it all at once! Whatever method or plan you choose, make it a habit and it will serve you well.
Take care, stay well, and live aloha.
Until next time…