It is widely quoted and accepted that you can’t pour from an empty cup. But how many of us actively practice replenishing ourselves? The biggest factor that most people try to overcome is the guilt!
Guilt for taking the time out for themselves
Guilt for using money exclusively on themselves.
We sometimes have difficulty taking time for ourselves and prioritizing self-care. It often takes an illness or an accident to persuade us to give ourselves the time and care we need.
But when we are stressed out, self-care is often the first thing we let go of.
Why is that? Some reasons may be that;
- Our brains go into fight-or-flight mode and our perspective narrows.
- We’re so busy trying to solve problems that we’re stuck in “doing mode
- We may not have a “go to” list of self-care activities.
So once we wake up, so to speak, how do we practice self-care, what can we put on our list of self-care activities. For those of us that can, a retreat is a lovely way to have time and space for self. But if that is not an option at the moment, here are a few suggestions:
- Focus on the sensations around you — sights, smells, sounds — this helps you be present in the moment.
- Go for a walk and breathe in fresh air.
- Listen to running water.
- Take a hot shower or a warm bath
- Do something pleasurable for yourself.
- Get creative! Do some art, journal or play some music
- Take yourself out for a nice meal
- Give yourself some spiritual space
- Practice gratitude — journal about things your are grateful for
- Light a candle and meditate
- Walk in nature
- Connecting with others is an important part of self-care.
- Go on a lunch date with a good friend.
- Call a friend on the phone.
- Join a support group.
“How do you define taking care of yourself?”
Think about that and then: Create a new self-care practice, starting today!
Remember what Audre Lorde says — self-care is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation. Take care of yourself, start today, you are worth it!