What does Self-Care mean to you? What are the ways in which you practice Self-Care, if you even do at all?
To some it is taking a long bath with candles, special soaps, and music. To others it is spending all day in bed watching Netflix in your PJ’s eating your favorite comfort foods. To others it is daily workouts & meditation. What Self-Care means to each person will vary greatly, but Self-Care is something that so many of us struggle with, myself included, it is something that we always wind up putting on the back burner. We all understand the need and the importance for it, but we always make an excuse for why we cannot do it.
So much of our life we are taught to be selfless, to take care of others first, to put the wants and needs of others above our own. The only exception to this is in the event of something going wrong on a plane, in which you are told to put your oxygen mask on first, then help others. That is something that goes against what we know, to many it feels quite wrong. We spend years teaching ourselves that we are not allowed to spend time on ourselves, that is it selfish, that we do not have time for us. I myself, spent so much of my life doing all that I could for others, I sacrificed so much of myself for others, I always put myself at the bottom of my priority list, that I fell further and further into my depression, I tumbled deeper into the madness, I lost myself in the darkness. I put every ounce of myself into helping others achieve their hopes, their dreams, their successes, I stood by them helping them to thrive, while I withered away myself. I based my value, my time, my worth around them. One by one, they moved on with their lives, they found someone or something else, while I was left feeling a bit more empty each time, I was left feeling lost, feeling dismayed. They got exactly what they needed, while I got nothing, I lost sight of myself. It was quite disheartening to say the least, to realize that I spent so much of my life taking care of others, I didn’t even know how to take care of my own self anymore, I didn’t know what I WANTED, what were my HOPES, my DREAMS, what made my heart SOAR. I spent so much time helping others chase their own hopes and dreams, helping them get all that they wanted, and all of that became so ingrained in my life, so intertwined that it mingled deeply within my personality that I could no longer discern what was mine and what was imprints from all those who I have given myself, given my energy, given my time to. There’s a quote by Christopher Walken that so perfectly sums up the importance of self-care especially as a light worker which has quickly become a mantra of mine.
This last year plus I have done a lot of soul-searching, self-development as well as made a major point to spend more time on self-care, because I understand that I am of no use to anyone if I do not first take care of myself. During my life I would get all hyped up, throw myself completely into projects, into relationships, into whatever I could, but I never took any real time for myself, which would in turn lead to me getting hardcore burned out. I would start off motivated, unstoppable, with all this hope, all this energy, only to end up with no energy, discouraged beyond words and leaving things unfinished. This only made me feel worse about myself, I felt so dejected, like I couldn’t be relied on, like I was a failure. It discouraged me to no end, to continually go through these brief points of great success only to be followed by long periods of doing nothing. By switching my focus to a self-care based routine instead of all work all day, I have found that I am far more productive, far more joyful, far more inspired, and in general feeling much better.
To me, what I do for self-care varies based off the day I am having, off the mood I am, the ways in which I feel. Now I make a point to work out every single day no matter how busy or tired I am, even if I can only get in 5 minutes of exercise I feel great. I am working on reintegrating a daily meditation/mindfulness practice. I make a point to connect with myself, to check in with my emotions, to show gratitude on a regular basis. I have also drastically overhauled my diet which has helped me feel better than I ever thought possible. For me self-care has become an essential part of my daily routine. My life as a whole has become all about the balance between Mind, Body, & Soul, about making sure I put just as much emphasis into rest and relaxation as I do into work.
When trying to implement a Self-Care routine into your life, start off simple, schedule 5 minutes a day to do something that makes you happy, that relaxes you, that helps you to connect with yourself. This can be a quick walk, doing some yoga, meditation, watching a funny video, it can be whatever you want. The point here is to just take a few minutes for yourself. What started out as a struggle to take even 5 minutes to myself a few times a week has become a daily 20 minute-1 hour part of my routine in which I just be with myself, I do what makes me feel good, what helps me to connect with my higher self, with what relaxes me, with what keeps me in the moment.
My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses, Have A Magical Day!