Self-care is taking care of ourselves. It’s being selfish, but in a good way. I have a strong tendency to disregard my intuition telling me that it’s time to take a self-care day. I always regret ignoring it because I’m always left feeling drained and depleted. And I think that I can relate to many when I say that because there’s this constant need to keep pushing, keep working, to speed through life and get things done so that we feel productive. If we choose to not do any of that, to actually take time for ourselves, there’s a sense of guilt… Like we’re letting someone down by doing so. But really, the only person we’re letting down is ourselves by not taking care of ourselves. It’s our own self created expectations that tell us that we should be doing more that stop us from slowing down, pausing, taking a breath, and just BEing for a moment.
Self-care IS productive. Doing nothing and having no plans, IS productive if it’s under the category of self-care. This doesn’t mean procrastination because that’s different. I’m talking about the sleep-in-and-do-nothing-on-a-Sunday type of nothing, not the type of nothing that avoids something. And this type of nothing is one of my favourite things!
So what does self-care really mean? It could mean something completely different for everyone, but usually, it’s anything that gives you time to relax. I’ll give you a few of my own personal examples…
I’m an introvert, so my self-care day might look different than that of an extrovert. Personally, my self-care day would involve spending a day completely to myself and doing, what I like to call, the “soft” things. This could be sleeping in, spending time in nature (taking a hike, meditating outside…), reading a book without a time limit, meditation, going for a much-needed massage, painting, playing guitar… You’d think yoga would be in there too, and sometimes it is, but for my self-care days, I like to be as far away from any type of work as possible. Even though my self-care days typically involve alone-time, they sometimes involve spending time with those I love and connecting with them on a soul level. Connection can be refreshing and energizing.
So what is soul food for you that leaves you feeling refreshed and replenished? For you, maybe it’s cooking or taking your time on a glass of wine… Whatever it may be, I encourage you to schedule in time for yourself RIGHT NOW. Mark it in your calendar as “ME TIME” and then don’t feel guilty about it.