What is Self-Care?

Finding the Self in Self- Care

Self-care is a health activity accounting for most of the daily health practices of people across the world. However, if you asked most folks how they practice self-care, the more common responses relate to something that’s done for them i.e. get a massage or a manicure, take a trip, rather than what they do for themselves to improve emotional, physical or spiritual health.

Simply put, self-care is the ability to be aware of your own needs and demands, and utilize your own resources for self-awareness, to be healthier and ease your suffering. In other words, if you come out of your massage and the only thing lighter is your wallet, that’s not self-care.

Self-care is when you are able to be with your struggles, stressors and daily challenges and understand them as not done to you but for you by finding your ability to work through them within yourself or of you.

I have learned the most about myself, and my capacity for inner strength and actions during the valleys of my life not at the peaks. Whether it was managing having four daughters all under the age of 5 while working a full-time job and wondering if I would ever sleep again. I did. Or getting divorced as my girls were leaving the nest and wondering if I would snack my way to cope or recover joy by sweating it out through a daily fitness regimen. I chose my workout.

In the process of my divorce beginning five years ago, I learned the real meaning of self-care, with an emphasis on self. Self-care involves an inward focus on compassion, awareness, action and confidence. It is a skill and daily practice.

Try this 2 minute exercise

Close your eyes and think of a current demand or burden in your life. Allow yourself to become aware of how it makes you feel and where you feel it in your body. After opening your eyes, write down the demand and everything that came to mind.

Now thinking about what you need for based on what you wrote, make a 7 -day self-care plan. Keep it simple by using this format.

Day 1. I commit to _____________ so that I can be, feel or have___________________.

Share your intention by tweeting at #MySelfCareAct

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