When I ask people what is self care and what does it look like to them, most people answer with a spa day, getting massages, having pedicures, shopping…the list goes on. But, when it comes down to it, these are indulgences, pampering – it’s not true self care. Yes, these things are great ways to make you feel good but the effects are usually only temporary. Real self care goes much deeper than these surface things and gives you lasting change in knowing yourself at your core.
Here are a few things about self care:
Having great authority to say NO when you know it’s not right for you at this moment. It’s also not feeling guilty about saying NO. Women are so worried about hurting others feelings that we often say yes to things that we know aren’t good for us, meant for us, or are right for us. Self care means that even though you *think* you may hurt someone, you know you can’t control their reaction to you doing what is right for you.
Self care is knowing what you need in every moment, more importantly knowing how to tap into determining what you need. We go about our lives thinking we know what we need because it’s what we’ve done before, but we change and evolve. Do you stay connected with knowing what your needs are? Do you focus on making sure your needs are met?
When you have a great self care routine, you follow your inner wisdom. We all have two voices that live inside our heads – one is your inner mean girl, the other is your inner wisdom. We’ll be talking more about these two forces in the coming moths in the Self Love Club but for now know that the inner mean girl operates out of fear and can steer you in the wrong direction. Your inner wisdom comes from the heart and knows you better than you know yourself – she’s your BFF.
Self care ensures that you are a priority in your life. Too easily we allow the needs of others to come before our own. What good is that doing you? It’s only making you more exhausted, more resentful, and gets you down on yourself. The old adage is true – you can’t fill yourself from an empty cup. Your needs have to prioritized, your self care routine needs to ensure that you aren’t last on the list. When you are last on the list, you have nothing left to give yourself, and you will continue to run yourself ragged.
You Know You
Self care is a deeper relationship with yourself. You know that no one needs to save you or fix you. You know yourself the best of anyone around, so you can hone in on what you need, when you need to change, what you need for your physical and mental health, and most importantly, knowing when you need to fill up. Self care is all about sensing when you need to fill your bucket before you tip over and lose it all. When you make yourself a priority, that bucket mostly stays full.
This thing called self care means that you never stifle yourself. You charge ahead into your emotions and let yourself feel them. Trying to hold yourself back from feeling things is going to deplete your reserves, as you end up doing a lot of overcompensating and acting to avoid those emotions. You lean into those emotions, cry when you need to let it out, comfort yourself when you do.
When you take care of yourself, you are tuned in with what you need physically, whether that be quietness with some yoga or a loud dance party. You are able to determine what your physical needs are to make you feel good. I work with a lot of women who seem to torture themselves doing exercise they don’t enjoy all for the sake of trying to lose weight. When you take good care of yourself, you know that one day you need to run, another day you need to dance, and later in the week, you need to lift weights. Self care is always being dialed into your physical needs, whatever they may be and you don’t force yourself to do things you don’t enjoy.
You are deeply connected to your tribe when you practice self care. You have people that you can trust immensely and share with them your joy and your struggles. You are also able to identify individuals who are not good for you and you take action to deal with those relationships, as you don’t want them to drain you.
Toxic relationships are dealt with immediately – they have no place in your life. When you are taking care of yourself, you can see these kind of individuals and you are able to address their place in your life. You don’t run away from it, you know that surrounding yourself with the right people is vital to your care, and you can’t control the reactions of others when releasing toxic relationships.
In your connectedness to others, your self care also allows you to be a person that others can trust to share their heart with you. You want to be for others what they are to you.
Self care is a path to deep understanding of who you are at your soul level. You know your limits. You know when to push through because it’s just fear (your inner mean girl) telling you to back off. You have the knowledge to know when to pull back because something isn’t right for you. Self care helps you to be able to distinguish between them both to make the right decisions.
Here’s the big one. Asking for help. As you’ve noticed, I have mentioned a few times that self care is all about knowing yourself, your limits, what’s right for you, and what’s not. A big part of being in line with your inner wisdom is knowing when you need help AND asking for it. Often times, women know when they need help but fear the asking part of this self care process. For what?
Feel like you’re failure, like you’re letting people down, pulling down the facade that you can handle it all, not feeling like enough, feeling like you’ll burden others. What is it that stops you from asking for help? Address it immediately. Every single woman needs help throughout life – we don’t walk through life without ever needing help so get over yourself and just ask. If someone can’t help, that doesn’t mean they’ll never help you – it just means they can’t right now. ASK FOR HELP when you need it.
Self care also leads a bit into compassion, which is the next big topic I’ll be addressing in the self love club. Being compassionate means that you are as kind to yourself as you are to others, and you are understanding when mistakes are made. You don’t expect perfection but you are compassionate about falling down. You get right back up and try again.
Self care is not acting like it’s sunshine and rainbows all the time. It’s knowing what you need. Rejecting what you don’t. Deciphering the difference. Being able to face the sorrow, the pain, the rain and the dark times because you trust yourself to be able to rise through it. Self care is respecting yourself and your boundaries. Filling your life with experiences that make you feel alive and healthy. Having relationships that provide you with love and joy. Knowing yourself better than anyone ever could, and pushing ahead because you know what’s good for you. And, pulling back when more evaluation is needed.
Self care goes so deep and I’m excited to work on this topic with the members of the club. Won’t you join us?