Today is a cold winter day. I’m curled up in my favorite blanket drinking herbal tea that my friend Megan lovingly created, letting my mind explore the topic of self-care. Some would say self-care is a form of self-love, where we consciously and intentionally honor ourselves — in a sense, shower ourselves with love. I feel such a tenderness to life after reading the above quote, like the love we would give to a newborn baby. “Do you stop to smell the roses? Are we gentle with life’s delicate balance? Do we honor the present state of being, and adore the beauty?”
“Our Soul is like a soft and gentle flower; it needs to be nourished, cared for, tended to, with sufficient sunlight, fresh air and freedom to bloom into its most precious and beautiful form. This, my friend, is self-love.” — Miya Yamanouchi
Do we treat our lives this way or do we push ourselves to the brink of exhaustion? If the flower did this same thing, its magnificent flowers would never open! Do you think the plant would look healthy, green, and vibrant if it was never watered or didn’t have light? No way! The growth would be stunted, parts of the plant dying off, limp and lifeless. What is self-care anyway? Wikipedia.org says, “Self-care is learned, purposeful and continuous. In philosophy, self-care refers to the care and cultivation of self in a comprehensive sense, focusing in particular on the soul and the knowledge of self.” Self-care is something that can’t be squeezed in around the “important things.” It is a core need that must be prioritized.
“Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first; then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.” — Jennifer Louden
“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life; it will improve the lives of all those around you.” — Robin S. Sharma
1) Put it on your calendar. I know that if self-care isn’t on my calendar, then it will not happen. Are you the same too? I have clients that schedule a year of appointments in advance because there is such a benefit to rhythms. I like doing that myself as well. Plus, it frees up my mind knowing that it is taken care of and I can use my mental energy somewhere else.
2) Take care of yourself before helping others. If you are a caregiver for children, clients, patients, or loved ones, you need extra self-care. It is impossible to give and give without taking care of yourself. So, make sure to find a way to add it to your life.
3) Take time off. For me, there are times I need to retreat and get away to dive deeper and have quiet. It is essential to my soul. Do you know what feeds your soul?
4) Ask yourself: if anything was possible in your life, what would your self-care look like for you? You are the creator/co-creator, artist, and conductor of your life. Every moment is a seed of potential and new possibilities.
I had asked my chiropractor, Sherry Yale, D.C., from TLC Holistic Wellness in Livonia, MI her thoughts on self-care too. “Spiritual and emotional factors are primary,” she states. “Be aware of the people you’re close to — do they support you or cut you down and undermine you? It can be subtle or more obvious.”
Begin removing your energy from the relationships that cut you down or undermine you; this is an important part of self-care. From across the Atlantic, my friend Vanessa Matthews, a coach from the UK, says self-care is about “loving yourself from the inside out.” “It’s the deep inner work, digging into all the internal beliefs you have about being unlovable, unworthy, unacceptable and so on. Giving yourself the time, care, and, attention to connect with your soul and acknowledge your genius. From there you automatically live differently, make choices that reflect the inner love and alignment you feel inside. It’s at that point that external self-care such as spa days, long baths, nice clothes, exercise, etc. becomes about so much more than just cheering yourself up or filling the gaps in your self-worth.”
I love how she spells it out. Doesn’t this feel so much more expansive than forcing ourselves to do more and be more even when we are exhausted? Sometimes we can walk this journey ourselves, and other times we need a guide to walk with us. Diving deep into our emotions and going through our darkness can be transformational. So, if you need support, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. Stepping on the path of self-discovery is the fuel of my work in the world. Next month I’ll dive deeper into exactly what it is that I do, and how I do it. Want inspiration when it comes to self-care? Follow me on Instagram @tranquil.being. Do you have a question or have a topic you want me to explore in a future article? Email me at email@example.com.
Sharon Marie helps clients create spaciousness within for them to pause, connect to their heart, and feel a new sense of peace. She brings so much compassion and understanding to her clients as she holds space for them on their journey. Her suite is the perfect space holder for her work, providing a safe and sacred container for her clients to fully relax. Sharon’s eclectic mix of modalities include healing massage and bodywork, infrared sauna, medicine walks in nature, the natural rhythms and elements in nature, the wisdom of the seasons, and creativity for healing. Sharon Marie, Founder and Creative Director at Tranquil Being. Contact her through email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734-761-8753. She’s located at Tranquil Being, 320 Miller Ave, Suite 185, Ann Arbor, MI 48103