Self-Care or Self-Ish?
"Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You can't serve from an empty vessel."
Isn’t it funny that we can feel guilty about taking care of our physical, mental and emotional health?? Is there something from childhood, outdated schooling, western culture that sowed this unhelpful seed in our young minds?
A well-rehearsed mantra from my childhood is:
“A Brownie Guide thinks of others before herself and does a good turn every day…”
It’s interesting that in these enlightened times, the Girl Guiding Association have added a new line in the Brownie and Guide Promise:
“To be true to myself”
Hoorah… I wish we had had that insight in the emotionally impoverished 1970s… Anyway, I haven’t turned out too bad… just have an old habit of a bit too much people-pleasing and self-sacrifice, but I’m onto it and trying to over-ride that old limiting belief that I always come second, if not last… I am learning to be true to myself as much as possible amongst the To-Do lists and responsibilities of life.
What does that even mean? To me, it means that I go through every day being aware of how I am feeling on all levels and then take steps to get back to the happiest version of me … like a ship, I just do little things here and there to course-correct as we go… so that I try to head in the general direction of ‘Happy Me!’
I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in your life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t, you aren’t.”Dr. Wayne Dyer
From my own experience of working out what works for me, I believe in the power of these things:
- Hot water with lemon and ginger first thing in the morning.
- Morning meditation practice.
- Moving my body – Rolling out my mat and practising yoga, walking my dog, dancing around the kitchen to Barry White / The Bee Gees / Stevie Wonder / Coldplay.
- Mudras, Affirmations and Intention-setting.
- Meeting a friend for coffee and cake.
- Breathing fully, deeply, gratefully.
- Watching Mamma Mia – again - and singing along to every song.
- Legs-up-the-wall pose.
- Early nights, hot baths.
- Watering my houseplants.
- Making my own granola and face creams.
- Sitting at my favourite viewpoint in the Conwy Valley and feeling the wind on my face.
- Reading a novel in bed with a hot water bottle by my feet.
- Deep, nourishing rest / Afternoon naps / Yoga Nidra.
- 20 minutes on my Shakti mat before I go to sleep.
- Journaling – getting my thoughts on paper to untangle the habitual over-thinking that can tie me up in knots.
- Doodling in a sketchbook / on the back of an envelope.
- Reading books / listening to podcasts by people who know a lot more than I do about life, the universe and everything.
So, don’t feel guilty about doing these things, or any of your own – they are important little pauses where we experience being, in-between all the doing. It’s good to Do, but it’s also important to Be.