The One Thing You Should Have To Deepen Your Self-Care Practice

Self-care: more than just bubble baths & massages.

Photo: Unsplash

We all could use a reminder to take a little time for ourselves and I happen to have the best reminder: a plant. Growing something takes time, energy, and patience no different than developing a practice of self-care.

You know what self-care is and I bet you practice it from time to time. Maybe you allow yourself a nice, relaxing bath or treat yourself to a massage. What about a daily practice? Self-care takes time, patience, and effort. Your practice can easily disintegrate without consistent maintenance. However, if you can establish a routine and dynamic self-care practice it will help you flourish!

When we take the time to nurture a plant we can simultaneously absorb the lessons for ourselves.

It takes time

I say this not to deter you from having a regular and sustainable practice of self-care, but to be real with yourself. Much like a plant, we need to be realistic with ourselves while growing a strong self-care practice. Remember that caring for yourself is not a one-and-done task to be checked off your to-do list. Savoring in the act of filling your soul can be healing and nurturing.

Choose your plant wisely

You wouldn’t buy a delicate and needy plant and expect it to thrive with once a week attention, would you? So why set ourselves up for disaster in our self-care routines? It is important to know what feeds your soul and get down to the core of why it is that you need that type of fulfillment. Knowing that you need exercise is great. However, understanding that your body needs to move in regular intervals to feel healthy and at peace can make your self-care routine much more dynamic.

Nurturing others helps us give to ourselves

Let’s be honest, for most of us it is much easier to put other people or things on the top of our priority list while letting our own needs fall to the bottom. We can commit to helping others, giving to causes, growing a plant, but showing ourselves a little love and compassion tends to be much harder. Tending to a plant can serve as a gentle yet powerful reminder that we need nurturing as well.

You cannot pour from an empty cup

As compassionate and giving people, we want to be our best selves for others. Setting ourselves up for self-care success means taking those little moments to invest in ourselves and refill our cup. That doesn’t mean that we take all for ourselves. It means that when it comes time to share the generosity of our attention and energy, we will be fully capable and our best selves to do so.

Nature is not perfect and life rarely goes as we plan

Our plant, no matter how much we nurture it, may not turn out just as we hoped. Perhaps the weather changes and a little frost kills a seedling or a week of rain drowns a strong root system. We have to be gentle with the unexpected events nature throws at us and be prepared to roll with the punches.

Prepare for life to be a little unpredictable. If circumstances outside our control seem particularly tough it is time to listen to what the universe is saying rather than fighting it or giving up. Self-care practices need to more flexible to allow for changes and fluctuations.

When things get tough, do not give up on yourself. You would not throw your plant away just because it was not growing like you had hoped. Allow yourself the time to develop a strong self-care practice and the grace to forgive yourself if it does not look exactly like what you thought it would. Most importantly, show up for yourself. Just like you do for your plant, a little each day!

Interested in bringing more self-care into your life? Get Leslie’s free e-book “Know Yourself Better to Give Yourself the Best: A Guide to Self-Care” now!