As a mindfulness practitioner and a gal who wears many hats, one of the most influential shifts I’ve made for leaning in to a happier, fuller life was when I decided to make self-care a priority.
In February 2019, my self-care routine had evolved in to the following:
- Asking for help
- Setting limits on social and media consumption
- Learning to say 'no'
- Tending to issues within reach
- Taking medication for anxiety, depression and ocd
- Reducing the number of responsibilities on my plate**
Self-care can often take on the form of two steps forward, one step back. New again motherhood set me back a little bit but I am ready to get back to that good place and take my own advice once more.
Self-care is the intentional practice of paying attention to your own needs. Self-care physiologically takes us from an overactive sympathetic nervous system (aka “fight or flight”) and puts us in a state where the parasympathetic nervous system (aka “rest and digest”) takes over. In its very simplest state, self-care means that you are making sure you are being cared for by you. Self-care is how you decompress from a stressful day in a healthy way; it’s prioritizing your acquaintances by distancing yourself from toxic people and keeping the ones who feel like sunshine on speed dial; it’s learning to say ‘enough’ and how to take a break to develop resilience rather than feel defeat; most of all, I truly believe that the core of self-care is learning your limits, setting healthy boundaries, caring about rest and nourishment (in all their forms) and becoming mindful of the moments where pressing the reset button becomes essential for wellbeing.
We all have our ‘reasons’ why we don’t act in one way or another but the reality is that it all comes down to priorities. A powerful exercise I have discovered is to simply rephrase any statement containing an excuse to end with ‘... is not a priority.’
Eating healthy is too expensive – becomes - Eating healthy is not a priority.
I don’t have time to go to exercise- becomes - Exercising is not a priority.
I’m a caregiver, I can’t take care of myself because [so and so] needs me- becomes- I’m a caregiver, I can’t take care of myself because it’s not a priority.
We all have the ability to prioritize how we spend our time but practicing self-care doesn’t need to take time away from important parts of the life you live. In my next self-care post, I'll share some of my favorite self-care myths. You'll gain simple insight on how to overcome the hurdles you create in your mind about how self-care is supposed to look.
In the meantime, start noticing the narrative you're using and how you are deciding to line up your priorities. I'll be right there with you.
oh, and I'll be practicing lots of gratitude for little moments that catch 'the light' like these.
** Why there hasn't been another blog post until now ;)