What the bl#$p is Self Care? Five Practices to get you started today

Self care is actually putting yourself first.  Well, at least for part of the day.  Ok, even a minute or two of the day adds up.  Self care is knowing that your needs are just as important as those of your family members, your co-workers, your community, your job.

Take that in for a moment…...

Your needs are just as important as the needs of all those around you.  In fact, there is plenty of room for all of our needs.

Taking care of your own needs is the same thing as self care.  And the thing about taking care of your own needs is that it actually improves the quality of your own life and therefore the quality of life of everyone around you.

You might be asking, “What does that even mean?  To improve the QUALITY of my life?”

It means that you have more inspiration, you play more often, you do things that you love to do.  That when you do those lovely things, you’re so wrapped up in the moment, you’re so invested in what you’re doing that nothing else exists for you - that’s how you increase the quality of life, that’s a big part of self care.

What does it really mean to implement this on a day to day?  Here five ideas for you to implement right away.  Choose one or two to start tomorrow.

 #1: Spend two minutes sitting - only two minutes- feeling your body.  Feel inside your body.  Feel what is going on in there.  There is blood moving, veins pulsing, cells reproducing, digestion happening, there might be pain.  Just go to the sensations and be with them, nothing more, nothing less.  Two minutes.

#2:  Start a daily morning journal.  You can get one on my website for FREE.  You’ll find it at the top of the website.  It asks you six simple questions.  What are you grateful for today?  What do you intend to get done today?  What do you want to say to yourself today?                         Simple things that can change the outlook of the whole day by starting from a place of purpose and carving out those five minutes in the morning.  This way when you look at your to -do list you know what you have already committed to getting done and what you know is ok to skip for now.

#3:  Turn on your favorite music at the end of the day.  It doesn’t matter if your family’s home or your roommates are home.  Music can feel good for everybody.  Turn it on and allow your body to feel it.  Use all the space you have to move your body and have fun.  It feels so good.

#4:  Go for a L O N G walk.  Pretend you have nowhere to be.  Don’t bring your clock.  No clocks allowed.  If you get too in your head when you’re walking, find an awesome podcast to listen to.  Some ideas:  The Moth, This American Life, Dear Sugar, Big Magic, Tara Brach.  If that sounds too cumbersome like you don’t want to be processing any information, just go.  Let yourself experience the place that you’re walking.  See who else is there, smell how it is there.  See what textures and shades of each color are there.  If you can’t get out of your head, go farther or go harder.  Both help tremendously.

#5:  Line out some really great meals for yourself this week.  Choose 2 or 3.  Decide ahead of time what you’re going to make and spend time in the fresh produce section of your local store buying what you know you’re body wants.  Then, spend time cooking what you know your body wants and your body deserves.  Experience the colors of the food you buy and the smells that are crafted as you cook yourself a wholesome meal.  Acknowledge your accomplishment.

These are just some ideas.  These help explain what the bl$#p self care is.  Little acts that help you know that your needs are just as important as everybody else around you.  

Take a moment right now and think, “What are my needs?”  For so many people, that’s such a baffling question, they don’t even know where to begin.  If ANYTHING comes to mind for you, consider actually listening to it and actually starting to honor it.  You might have a lot of ideas that aren’t on the list above.  The simple act of honoring your own needs is self care.

I’d love to hear what your ideas and practices are so please do share with me…..