Are you ready to continue your Heartfelt Journey to Self-Love part 3 - Self-Care?
We as women are very good at caring for others. And although we are good at caring for others, it doesn't necessarily equate to how we care for ourselves. In this post, we will explore how we can become better at looking after the most important person in the world....YOU.
Image - Nastya Kroshka
What is Self-Care?
Self- Care is choosing to make sure that you get what you need on all levels – physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally – every day.
We all want to take care of our selves right? We all know how to take care of ourselves, and most of us do a great job of self-care sometimes – a vacation here and there, eating well for a while, a stint of getting enough rest, physical exercise, and mental downtime; and a good dose of spiritual fulfillment.
More frequently we find ourselves, just holding on, trying to maintain some semblance of self-care in the midst of the busyness of our overwhelming lives, trying to also deal with the needs of everyone and everything else.
Why do we struggle?
The reason we struggle so, even when we so clearly want to take care of ourselves, can be boiled down to two things: bad programming and a screwed up value system. Bad programming from the world around you rerouted your self-love beliefs, making you think that you have to choose between giving to yourself and to others, that giving to yourself is selfish, and that you have to give before you can receive. Add to that the societal systems that values a drive-‘til-you-drop lifestyle of doing, busyness, and outward displays of confidence over the nourishing qualities of being, caring, and nurturing, and no wonder your self-care branch suffers.
Is Self-Care selfish?
If your mind tells you that resting, relaxing, and playing aren’t valuable or that you deserve these things only after working really hard, then of course you won’t choose self-care over doing more. Instead, your mind will send bolts of fear and resistance through your body and heart in the form of excuses and rants like ‘People will think you’re selfish if you do this for yourself,” or “You don’t have time to take care of yourself; you have too much to do,” or “If you stop doing things, you will fall behind, fail, or starve”. So of course, you choose self-neglect over self-love almost every time. But the truth is, you don’t have to choose between taking care of others and taking care of yourself. You can do both.
The more you take care of yourself, the more you can take care of the people and things you love. Just stop for a moment and read that again, this time replacing the you and yourself with I and myself.; The more I take care of myself, the more I can take care of the people and things I love. Isn’t that so much better than “I have to take care of everyone and everything else before I can take care of me”?
The ability to care for yourself requires an intimate knowledge of and concern for what you need at any given time, and an unapologetic determination to give it to yourself. Serving yourself and making sure you get what you need is simpler than you think. The execution may be tough at first, but if you apply the following basic principles, self-care will, over time, once again become a natural state of being and doing for you.
Guidelines for Good Self-Service
1. Good Communication: I check in with myself. I listen to myself
2. Follow through: I do what I say I will do
3. Consistency and frequency: From morning through night, on a daily basis, I am here for myself
4. Loyalty & Flexibility: I am willing to drop everything, rearrange my schedule, and make sure the person I am serving – that’ me! – gets what she needs.
The reason you don’t take care of yourself has nothing to do with time, but everything to do with the belief that you don’t really deserve to be taken care of and your unwillingness to make the commitment to give yourself that care. (OUCH!)
It’s time for your Self-Care activity….
Daring Act of Love
Start Your Day by Taking Care of Your Needs.
Upon waking in the morning, open your eyes and then close then immediately. Put one hand on your belly and one on your heart. Take three deep breaths and ask yourself this question: “What do I need in order to take care of me today?” Listen for your best friend’s answer (that is the voice of your Inner Wisdom). She will tell you. What-ever she says, make sure you get it. Make a commitment every morning to give yourself what your Inner Wisdom says you need. This may be an actual thing, an action to take, or who knows! Do this ritual for seven days and notice the impact. Become aware of which of your unconscious anti-self-care beliefs get reveals, and which of your habitual patterns get pushed out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to go beyond comfort into radical self-care.
Get your art supplies out and create a gorgeous piece of “I Care for Me” proclamation art.
Make a beautiful heading – “I Care for Me” and below list your proclamations.
Here are a few ideas. Please think of all the ways you can take more care of yourself.
“I can get what I need even if I don’t work hard”
“I deserve to receive what I need, regardless of what I give”
“I can take care of myself before I take care of others”
“I will be supported when I choose to support myself first”
Get juicy, add colourful symbols for your self-care and most of all have fun…..you are worth it.
How did that feel for you? You are on your way to building more Self-Love. I look forward to sharing the next branch with you soon. In the meantime, I invite you to journal what thoughts come up for you, process things and most of all be kind to yourself.
Until next time, enjoy this Journey and try to love yourself abundantly.
Much Love Cath xx