Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post where I shared two things that I changed for this upcoming semester: (1) I put my kids in school five mornings a week, and (2) I scheduled two self-care days a month. You can read that post here.
This week, I went in for my scheduled self-care appointment, a 90-minute float session at Float Decatur. I’m really proud of myself because I actually did it. I’ve had not two but three self-care mornings this month. It’s so easy to say you’re going to do something and then it’s an entirely different thing to actually do it. So, cheers to me for putting a plan in place and actually following through!
Here’s what I’m learning: self-care actually makes me nicer.
When I carve out time for myself I have more patience. I’m also less quick to react in a negative way and I just feel better. I also feel much more centered and focused. And, even if I’m not any more productive than when I don’t create time for self-care, the truth is that my day flows better. So, I’m definitely giving this point to self-care.
I used to think that self-care was simply about spending a day at the spa, booking a weekend retreat, or splurging on some big-ticket item. And yes, sometimes, that is exactly the type of self-care I need. Now, I see things a bit differently. I’ve (re)-defined what self-care means to me.
Self-care means just that, taking care of self.
In order to take care of self you have to know what self needs. It’s no different than finding an ideal job or an aligned relationship or an inspiring business … if you don’t know what self wants, you’ll simply adopt someone else’s definition or glom onto the generic definition of it. Then you’ll wonder why you aren’t reaping all the fantastic benefits of this so-called self-care time.
Part of my self-care ritual has become getting to know myself. What do I enjoy? What do I do that is strictly for me (not for or because of someone else). For some, self-care is going to the gym. I’ve come to realize that that is not my thing. I prefer a walk in nature with my family, writing, or reading a good book under a cozy blanket instead.
Taking care of my self means being aware of what I like and
honoring that by giving it dedicated time in my life.
I believe that the first step in finding out what self-care means to you is to dig a little deeper into those activities that make you feel really good. You may have to experiment with a few things first, as most of us have truly forgotten what things bring us actual joy. And that’s ok. Sometimes, the best way to know what you do want is to figure out what you don’t want.
Honestly, I find that 20-30 minutes doing something I truly enjoy brings me more peace, joy, and satisfaction than spending 3 hours doing something I’m not crazy about. Talk about alignment!
What does self-care mean to you? How can you play around with the definition to make it your own? Drop me a line, I’d love to know!