When I used to think of self-care I thought it meant spending time in an extravagant spa, or eating at fancy restaurants, buying clothes I couldn’t afford, or going on elaborate vacations. As my checkbook couldn’t fund things like this at the time I desperately searched for alternatives.
Bubble baths, getting my nails done, loving my body through receiving a massage were the route I used. To me, this was self-care. Until one day I realized this wasn’t enough. I was exhausted. Drained. Stressed. Disconnected. Confused. Frustrated. And depressed.
After re-evaluating my life, I realized I was still allowing unhealthy people and situations to take up too much time and space in my life. I was more concerned with what others might think or say that I shut down and withdrew, instead of following and speaking my truth. In fear of upsetting the world around me and my comfort zone I spent time trying to please everyone and validate my choices and experiences.
The more I shrunk, the less control I had over co-creating my life. Lack of boundaries, deep seated fears, co-dependency, and self-doubt had taken over. I was abusing myself and completely unconscious about it.
My life was a chaotic mess. I had lost touch with what my Soul really needed. I felt powerless. It was time to reconnect to self-care goes. It sounds simple, but can easily get lost in the day to day grind.
For many people, it's something that gets put on the back burner. We get caught up in the busyness of our days trying to make sure everyone around us is taken care of and happy that we forget what we need. We tell ourselves we will get to "it" later, when we are feeling better or have more time. We wait to go on that diet because it’s just easier to grab the quick meal. We might not get to the gym or that important project because we are feeling tired and only want to curl up on the couch with our favorite television show.
We may allow unhealthy people and situations to continue to affect us because it’s more challenging to say no and set a strong boundary. We may not speak our truth because it’s scary to be open and vulnerable. We may give our power away because we feel we aren’t good enough and we don’t know what the relationship will look like any other way.
Self-care is essential to your own well-being. Without it, you can lose sight of who you are, your values, your purpose, your health and your voice.
Self-care ultimately starts with honoring Self. First and foremost. It’s setting healthy boundaries. It’s saying no even when you feel guilty. It’s being responsible. It’s showing up even when you don’t want to. It’s speaking your truth even in the fear of losing the person you care about most or in being rejected. It’s putting healthy food in your body temple, even when you are craving the greasy potato chips. It’s following those quiet small nudges from the inner voice within even when you question them. It’s creating a sacred space for your own wellness…however that looks for you.
When have you found yourself in a situation where you knew you needed to do something for you, but became distracted or found yourself avoiding it? Maybe you were afraid of speaking your truth? Or uncertain what setting a healthy boundary looked like? Were you in fear of being vulnerable and expressing your feelings?
Self-care is different for everyone. It’s unique to our own circumstances, environments and Soul desires. I invite you to pause for a moment and reflect on these questions to dive deeper into your own self discovery.
What is self-care to you? Where have you been sacrificing your own self-care? Where do you need to set stronger boundaries? What have you been avoiding or in denial of? If you were to honor yourself first and foremost, what would change in your life? What is the fear in that change? What do you need to do for you that you have been resisting?