The words “self care” have been on the wind. I’ve heard them in conversations all over the place lately. But, what is “self care”? Is it eating the right foods, exercising daily or brushing your teeth? These are certainly mundane aspects of self care. But, what truly defines “Care of the Self”?
To me, self care is about knowing your own system so well and being so in tune with your own inner guidance that you set appropriate boundaries and take actions to ensure your personal well being and inner peace. In a culture defined by “Be All You Can Be”, “Never Let Them See You Sweat” and “Just Do It!” most people ignore their own inner signals to slow down, take a break or ask for help.
When compared to making ends meet, nurturing oneself has sadly become an indulgent luxury for many. It is perceived to be an impediment to productivity in a culture that derives its value from productive output. However, when output becomes more important than input the entire system comes to a halt. Illness, depression and lack of personal morale halt our systems and force us to slow down and take the time for self care.
So, where do you begin in honoring the extremely important responsibility you have to yourself? First of all, take an inventory. Be honest.
Are you pushing your limits?
Do you even know what your limits are?
Are you exhausting yourself chasing approval or validation?
Are you putting the preservation of things ahead of your own preservation?
Do you have support at home, from friends and at work to help provide an environment that’s conducive to creating balance between productivity and time for self nurturing?
Self care starts with self awareness. Only then can you begin to make changes and set boundaries that are healthy and enhance your own inner well being. This in turn will also enhance the well being of those around you.