Self-care is often depicted in extravagant ways that for many require unrealistic amounts of time and resources. But as always, we are here to keep it grounded and simple.
Practicing self-care in real time is a lot more natural and unforced than are the grand gestures usually imagined. We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t give from an empty cup”. This is truly the heartbeat of why taking time to earnestly care for ourselves matters. Our felt sense of renewal has a tremendously positive ripple effect throughout our homes and communities.
The concept of self-care has been glamorized into something we do separate from our normal lives. But, it certainly doesn’t have to be. We can absolutely stay engaged with our responsibilities and the many facets of day-to-day life while still choosing to actively build supportive habits that sustain us.
Feeling refreshed and renewed doesn’t often happen out of nowhere or all at once. And although vacations, spas, and retreats are options for some to take while in pursuit of self-care. However, it’s important to remember that our well-being can grow in-this-moment… wherever we stand.
Start Self-Care Small
Choose just one thing to show up for every day. One action that feels nurturing and caring — a brief moment to connect with yourself as you are without opinion or judgment. Consider this the daily meeting with yourself. The most important meeting you will have all day. This can look like sitting alone in your favorite chair unbothered and undistracted while having a cup of tea. Or brain dumping thoughts onto paper early on in the day to clear out the streams of a busy mind.
Let this daily encounter feel effortless and easy.
Another practical way to approach self-care while still trying to manage life’s demands is by offering favors to our future selves. This might look like cleaning up the kitchen before the night is over so that you can wake up to a fresh space and a shorter to-do list. Or thoughtfully laying out your workout clothes so that they’re ready to slip on when it’s time to head out the door.
Offering small favors to our future selves ultimately helps lessen the subtle sensations of overwhelm that may emerge, and supports life to feel fluid again.
When to do Self-Care
Opportunities for self-care and feelings of renewal generally have a better chance of happening when we acknowledge and honor our personal sense of time. Discover a natural pace that works for you, and plan around this wisdom when possible. Productivity doesn’t necessarily always mean doing more, but doing smarter. Instead of cramming as much as you can into a single day, begin to space out responsibilities in a way that honor both your mental and physical needs. Doing this alone can be revolutionary in helping you feel better supported and present with all that’s happening around you.
We are each such unique beings with such specific needs. Our self-care is the same. The more we can hone in on what our personal preferences look like the better we can express and embody them with care.
With the warmer months ahead, we implore you to spend these long sun-filled days putting some of these actions to practice. Committing to our personal care while remaining engaged with what needs to get done is what will steward us through these transitioning times with greater steadiness.
By Melissa Aparicio, contributing author
We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others. Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self. Caring for others around us. Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before. So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.