WTF is Self-Care

When you read the words “self-care,” what do you think of?  Spa treatment? Weight-loss? Exercise?  I define self-care not with one word, but with a collection of five: Mind, Fuel, Movement, Space & Renewal.

Self-care is about how you mentally treat yourself, what you feed yourself, the way you move your body, the space you choose to be in and how you restore your energy.

We are holistic, multifaceted creatures who live in a complex world.  We are a reflection of our reality, the world we’ve chosen and created. I love helping my clients wake up from their sleep-walking habits and routines to take an all-inclusive picture of what is and isn’t working in their life. Self-care is about helping them pause to think about how they are prioritizing their self first so that they feel fully alive and energized, are able to give to others, and can do what they love. When you are running on low batteries, it is hard to show up and support your partner, co-worker, friend or even have the energy to be creative and passionate about your own projects! You may find yourself lashing out because you are irritable, sleep deprived or fueling yourself with crappy food, which in turn, perpetuates your draining cycle. When you notice you can’t seem to escape from that sensation of constantly running up hill, it might mean it’s time for a self-care tune-up.

Practicing self-care was what healed me during and after chemotherapy. Without prioritizing my own needs I would have never had the energy or passion to follow my heart and do what I love. I felt unhappy, had low energy and felt I couldn’t do anything right. Practicing self-care gave me strength, a positive outlook on life, deeper love and appreciation for my body, more awareness of my tribe and knowledge of how to fuel my life. It all started by committing to myself, shifting my mind-set, finding community and taking powerful and purposeful action

The flight attendant saying is true: “be sure to adjust your own oxygen mask before helping others.” When you aren’t breathing—when you’re not taking care of yourself—you are no help to yourself or anyone around you. So ask yourself: Am I breathing? Is my breath deep enough to truly feel my best?  To truly feel alive and thriving?

My self-care practices shift, but I have a few staples I consciously incorporate into my daily being.

1.     Meditating

2.     Eating lots of vegetables

3.     Walking a lot (it’s my principal mode of transportation)

4.     Drinking lots of water (preferable with lemon)

5.     Making eye contact with others

6.     Morning gratitude

7.     Journaling

8.     Eight hours of sleep

9.     Seeing friends

10. Talking/spending time with family

The more I dive deeper into understanding my self-care practices, the more I notice the importance of striking a balance between scheduling certain non-negotiable staples into my day (i.e. actions from my list of 10) and working to stay present and tuned into my body’s needs. I notice that when I don’t practice meditating or don’t move my body, my whole energy and demeanor feel off.  My self-care staples keep me breathing and aligned—full of life and energy to give back to my community and world around me.

So what are your self-care staples that keep you breathing? Brainstorm your ten daily staples in the comments below or feel free to email me and share!  If you’re saying to yourself:  “oh shit,… what are my daily staples?” then reach out to me for more support.

Life is too short to allow yourself to not breath fully. Take a moment to make yourself a priority and decide how you get to give yourself some extra love and attention everyday without guilt or shame.