This is the first of a 4 part series on self-care. Before we can talk about what self-care is, we have to talk about what self-care is not.
Self-care is not:
- Coming home from work and plopping on the couch to check-out and scroll social media when you have a family to feed and homework help for the kids
- Getting home from work, turning on the tv and watching the news or sports all night
- Telling your partner “peace out” while you head to the spa or golfing
- Drinking too much and staying out late on girls’ night or guys’ night and being hungover the next day
- Selfishness. Laying around. Going out. Retail therapy. Bottles of wine. Netflix.
And although these things are fun, in and of themselves, these are luxuries and/or disconnections from the issues and tasks we have to face that exhaust us on the daily.
Self-care is work. It is hard work.
If you are a parent, you know what it means to care for a person. You have no doubt personally or participated in bringing a human into this world. Then you had to nurture and protect that life from conception until however old your kids are at this moment you are reading this post. It is a lot of work. Heck, my mom still takes care of me sometimes and I am 38.
So when we discuss self-care, let me ask you this. Are you putting the same amount of work into caring for your own mind, body, and soul as you do for your children and partner?
If your answer is no, keep reading.
What is self-care?
A human being is made of a mind, body, and soul and that equates to emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Self-care is recognizing the emotional, physical and spiritual cues to when your mind, body, and soul are out of balance and then addressing the need at the core. So the above examples may give a temporary escape from an overly stressed mind or body, but they are not the solution to our human needs.
The flight attendant tells us to put on our own oxygen mask first because you CANNOT help another human being if you are not first helping yourself. You eventually run out of air and die.
This is true in our lives on land as well. If you are a parent, you are more than likely doing for everyone else and our version of self-care is actually a short term escape from reality that hinders and stresses out our lives even more in the long run.
We have to put on our oxygen masks to help others. We have to fill up our own cups if we want to pour into others well.
Let’s look at our needs and ask a few questions.
Am I reading, listening to, and watching things that are healthy and uplifting?
Am I spending too much time on a screen?
Am I having quality conversations with people?
Is my brain stimulated enough to maintain healthy neurological connections? (puzzles, reading, crosswords, conversations)
Am I getting sleep and exercise?
Am I feeding my brain the food it needs?
Am I eating well?
Am I eating enough?
Am I eating too much?
Am I drinking enough water?
Am I spreading myself too thin on the to-do list?
Am I getting enough sleep?
Am I moving my body around?
Am I addressing any physical ailments with the appropriate level of action? (Doctors, vitamins, supplements, etc)
Am I connected with God or a higher power?
Am I involved with a church family or accountability group?
Am I living and walking in my set of morals, principles, and beliefs?
Am I in nature enough?
Am I dealing with negative feelings and emotions and the root of their cause?
Am I connected to something bigger than myself?
Do I feel purpose and belonging within a community ?
Am I showing gratitude for what is good in my life?
This is just a starting point for evaluating your self-care plan of action.
We will delve deeper into how to address these areas in later posts.
Use the free printable evaluation to guide you in deciding where you should begin your self-care journey. Check back here in a few days to read how our journey begins in the mind and how it connects to all other parts of wellness.
I hope this day brings you peace and joy.
Keep making your house a love filled home.
High five for home!
A Journey Toward Self-Care <<——-Click here to download the evaluation printable!