Care by definition means to look after and provide for the needs of.
Self-care is a process by which you serve the needs of your mind, body and soul. A good self care routine relaxes you, refreshes you and helps you to carry out your daily life with ease.
Self-care starts with a deeper understanding and awareness of your true self. A self-care routine needs to be sustainable and authentic so that it can serve its true purpose. Are you struggling with your self-care practice?
Here are some tips to help you design a sustainable and reliable self-care practice:
1. It has to be simple to keep: We load our daily lives with to-do lists. The last thing we need is another item on the to-do list, which has potential to make us feel inadequate if we don’t follow through. A favorable self-care practice should be comfortable to pursue.
2. The result should be joy: If a self-care routine does not contribute to our joy, we have missed the wholesome purpose. The process could challenge you, but it should leave a generous taste of satisfaction. Take, for example, solving a considerably difficult crossword or engaging in high intensive workouts could be an uncomfortable process while you are going through it but the result is that of bliss of accomplishing something.
3. It has to be relaxing for you: Yes you have read that gardening is an extremely relaxing process but then if you become stressed about getting your hands dirty then perhaps it’s not for you. Dancing is rejuvenating, but again if you are struggling with physical energy, it could leave you more tired than refreshed. If you are short of time, adding a swim class could leave you more overwhelmed than composed. Your self-care practice has to be relaxing for you.
4. Consider budget too: Spas, bath salts, aroma oils, and holidays come with a price, and if they don’t fit into your budget with ease, such indulgences over time will contribute to significant depletion of bank balances. It’s always helpful to keep this component in mind while designing your self-care routine.
5. Look for the right thing for the right need: If you desire to connect socially, indulging in a Netflix binge will not serve the purpose. If you cannot deal with your emotions and indulge in emotional eating, it’s going to take a toll on your body. If you are fatigued, lying in bed all day could end up making you feel wearied. Think about what will make you feel good even after this moment has passed. It’s fundamental that you make the time to reflect whether your activities are matching your self-care demands. You know that your self-care needs are met when you have a positive outlook towards life.
While all this sounds easy, it’s rather difficult to put it in practice. Why? Well, there are three reasons:
3 reasons that are a barrier to proper self-care practice:
1. Popular opinion: If your life is dictated by “What will others think”–it’s going to be that much more arduous for you to serve your needs. If your self-care needs and time call for a walk at 9:00 AM, do it guilt free without feeling I wish I could walk at 5:00 AM like “they” say.
2. Stubborn nature: A few years ago, you could go for a one hour run every single day, today it may not be physically or mentally possible. Frankly, your schedule may not support you to run for an hour at a stretch every day. If you choose to be adamant that I will run only if I can run for an hour, you are losing the benefits of running 15 mins every day. Being stubborn about doing what worked for you ages ago will not allow you to have a self-care practice that adheres to a forever changing self!
Self-care needs call for transformation of old habits and letting go of beliefs that no longer serve you
3. Making time: This is the most crucial condition. Self-care will need time from you. This will require for you to build up superior prioritizing abilities. It will call for saying No to non-critical activities. While this looks simple, saying No is a personality change for many. They rather say yes to everything and later suffer physical and mental consequences of having an overflowing plate. Making time for self-care remains a core challenge for many.
If you can work through the three barriers and consider the 5 things discussed above, you can construct your authentic self-care routine. If you cannot work on the above mentioned barriers and are feeling stuck, feel free to reach out. You are just one conversation away from getting unstuck!