The term “self care” has become widely known over the past couple of years. It’s a practice I’ve given more attention to, especially since COVID hit. Here are some of the things I’ve learned through reading and applying it in my own life.
1. You have to make the time.
The book, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” has had such an impact on me. Not only is it filled with valuable information but it gives great analogies, like this one:
“Saying you don’t have time to improve your thoughts and your life is like saying you don’t have time to stop for gas because you are too busy driving. Eventually, it will catch up with you.”
This one hit home with me… probably because I always run my car all the way to E before filling up. How many of us do this to ourselves? I know I do. I keep myself very busy with working multiple jobs, chasing my dreams and being a social butterfly. But I know I have to make time to focus on my mental and physical health. If I don’t, I’ll end up burning out. This is one of the cycles and patterns I’ve previously shared. I’ve always claimed that it was a lack of motivation. I know now, it’s because my car ran out of gas.
One of the biggest excuses I hear people use is time. And I get it, I’ve used this excuse too. You don’t have to commit hours each day… start small. Think of one thing you can add into your daily routine. Stick to it long enough to make it a habit. Then, try adding in another. Or lengthen the time you commit to this activity each day. Building new, healthier routines can be tough. Be gentle on yourself. Remember, you have to give yourself time to unlearn your old habits as you incorporate new ones.
2. Self Care is more than shopping sprees, bubble baths & massages.
All of these things can reduce stress in the short-term so I’m not dissing them completely. However, to experience long lasting effects, you’ll have to dig deeper. Some other types of self care activities can be:
- Journaling: you can use prompts to help get you started or if you’re experiencing a lull. You can also do a “dump writing” where you literally don’t think but just vomit your thoughts out with a pen and paper. Some days you may not feel like writing- just write that.
- Meditation: many people think meditation requires your to not think about anything. So when they try that, they don’t “succeed” and tell themselves they are no good at it. Try, instead, to approach meditation with the mindset of focusing. That focus could be on the breath, the body, the thoughts, an image, a physical object, a mantra or saying, etc. The options are endless!
- Yoga: yoga is much more than the physical practice it has become known for. Our western culture has shifted away from this idea, leading many people to believe it is just fancy stretching. At Daly Zen Yoga Studio, we believe in a well-rounded practice on and off the mat. We make time for the breath, mind, body and spirit in each of our classes.
- Continued learning: I’ve been preaching this for years but have really committed to it lately. I’ve always loved to learn
- . It has always been with some end goal in mind: a certificate, information I can use in my classes or share on social media. While I still learn for those reasons, I’ve taken my learning further. I learn for me. To better myself first. I don’t share all of the information I’ve learned with others right away. This isn’t selfishly because I don’t want to help others, but constantly giving is exhausting. It is me taking time to focus on myself. Once I feel like I’ve given myself that attention, then I’ll go on to share with others.
3. Self care is never ending.
This can be daunting… I feel ya. BUT! You are worth it. You’ll love yourself and others more because of it. You are bound to experience a set back along the way. What car doesn’t need a repair at some point? Take what you need and then get yourself back on track.