Self care is part of self love which is essential to living our best lives. Self care is not selfish, but rather an important way to recharge. In order to function we need to eat, sleep, and recover from our daily life. We would not go a week without sleeping or eating and neither should we go long periods of time without nurturing ourselves. Through self care, we can connect with our truest selves and better serve everyone around us physically and energetically.
Self care is unique for each of us. What can we do on a daily, weekly, monthly and periodically to re-energize? I want to emphasize the importance of spending time with this question and especially note that no one else is going to determine what re-energizes you. While we may certainly feel blessed if we have a friend or a loved one who sometimes knows just when we need a refreshing getaway, most often self care needs to be self directed. We “cannot give from an empty vessel” as the saying goes, so we are the keepers of our own vessel, which includes the responsibility of refilling. When we become serious about it (which I hope you do!), our resentments tend to fade as we see that we were indeed waiting for others to read our minds and fulfill our needs.
Self Care Planning
Start with some questions:
How do you refill, refuel, and re-energize?
What plans will you make for time in solitude that is neither anxious nor lonely but rather joyful, peaceful and contemplative?
What does it feel like when you are too drained?
What activities bring you joy?
When do you feel most energetic?
Don’t be alarmed if it takes a bit of effort to answer these questions. The level of difficulty may indicate how neglected this area is in your life, in which case reading this article and participating in INNERSPACE is timely! If ideas come easily, I commend you. It is extremely common to spend vast quantities of time outwardly focused at work and home, with extended family and community, however it must be balanced with self care. You will serve all of those you care for in superior ways when you are actively taking care of yourself. While it is true that serving others returns intrinsic dividends, we cannot ensure that return refuels us sufficiently and in the proper timing.
Continue to explore…What activity or non-activity (time in stillness) recharges you?
Perhaps a hike, a day without any plans, a seminar on personal growth, some quiet time with a good book, a nap without guilt, time alone in nature would fit your needs. In general, life is busy and the amount of commotion we experience keeps us from connecting with our deepest selves.
This week build a list of items that you would like to use to create a self care plan. Determine which items fit a daily plan, which fit a weekly plan, and which fit a monthly or periodic plan.
Self Care Plan
You can also begin to track how you feel after you care for yourselves and pay close attention to those positive, energized feelings. Our brains tend to be Teflon for good and Velcro for bad (to use some brand names and vivid imagery), so your self-care can serve as another opportunity to minimize the ego’s hold on our thoughts and its tendency toward problems while simultaneously growing the capacity for joy in your life.
An important note: When we find that we are not feeling good about many aspects of life, feeling that most of what we are doing is hard or unpleasant, while saying ‘later when ___ happens, I’ll be happy’, this is a red flag that it is time for an adjustment. These moments are your life. This ‘later’ feeling, if pervasive, is a red flag that its time to review the moments of life and ensure there is goodness, acknowledgment, and reward contained within them. A re-evalution of our definition of success or happiness can allow us to find solace.
With the new year around the corner, we have a great start date for our self care plan. Make a point of answering the above questions prior to January so that you can ensure self care is a part of your new year. In fact, the act of answering these questions and making the choice to move forward with a self care plan is a form of self care in and of itself. Enjoy the process and the results!
In future weeks, we will continue to learn more about mastering our mind, looking inward, and connecting to our truest selves. You are so worth it! Thank you for investing this time in INNERSPACE. If you are interesting in joining the INNERSPACE Facebook Group we would be happy to welcome you!
Kim Perone, Certified Life Coach at The Center for Clarity, Compassion & Contentment serves clients with one-on-one and group coaching and can be reached via email or phone at [email protected], (518) 301-3593.
For more information on life coaching and The Center’s activities, visit www.Center4c.com.