We are in the midst of a self care revolution. And I am so here for it.
I feel like for the longest time I’ve been preaching to friends and family about making things easier on themselves, giving themselves a treat (treat yo’self!), and taking back where they feel they’re being taken advantage of.
These ideas are hard for us, because we’re so often trying to be everything to everyone all at once, which is literally impossible. And I’m going to venture an educated guess that it’s also an impetus for the rise in self care content - we need a break.
But we need more of a break than what’s frequently being touted as self care: a mani/pedi; a mini spa day in our bathrooms on Sunday; retail therapy; and more surface mood boosters to help us feel like we’ve gotten a little bit back in our well.
Don’t get me wrong, those mood boosters are important, and you know I’m not above any retail therapy (so guilty.) But the common thread behind the notion of self care is self respect. It’s about nurturing your energy and honoring your gifts, and ultimately building self esteem - not quick dopamine bursts to soothe the soul.
For real self care, we need to tap into those deeper parts of ourselves and ask what we really need when we’re feeling in need of a boost. It’s a shift in mindset and takes a little bit of practice, but it’s important for real movement toward our centers and to keep us from reaching the end of our ropes (which never helps anyone in any situation.)
What you need will be individually unique to you and your circumstances.
Is it standing up for yourself when you’re put on the spot at work?
Is it taking an actual day to yourself to do what you want to do above what others want?
Is it the simple act of acknowledging your strengths on a daily basis?
Is it saying no to someone or something that will make you feel compromised in your self worth or happiness?
Obviously the sources of caring for ourselves will vary depending on your unique needs - it’s not one size fits all, and god knows that those with kids won’t have an easy time taking a day to themselves even if they can arrange for one - but the central question you can ask yourself to make sure you’re really healing and not putting a band-aid on is this:
“What will build my sense of self right now?”
This question will help you get to the heart of what you really need, for real, long-term self care. We’re all tired, and we could all use a little break from what keeps us from feeling whole.
Next time you practice #selfcaresunday, I hope you ask yourself this, and I hope it rejuvenates you on a deeper level.
If you don’t know how to answer this question, that’s okay. Nothing has gone wrong. Sometimes we’re so distracted by everything going on in our lives, or we’re so used to focusing on others that it’s extra hard for us to tap into our own needs. If that sounds like you, it’s time to reflect and really connect with your needs, which is something we can do through coaching. If you’re interested how, book a free consult so we can figure out together if coaching is right for you.
If you’re not quite ready to try coaching, simply make it a practice to at least bring awareness to your needs when they arise. The more you listen to them, the more you’ll be able to act on them.