Often times self-care is touted as an act of indulgence. It’s now associated with spa days, retail therapy and more, and while that is self-care and it’s encouraged to take part in activities that bring us joy, we are called to discuss how self-care is not self-indulgence, but an essential part of self-preservation.
It seems like we are celebrated for and exhausted by the different hats we wear and roles we take on in life. We are co-workers, friends, caretakers, family members, providers, and more and while those elements of our identity drive our passion, excitement, connectivity and purpose, it can also burn us out. When we give and do mindlessly on a daily basis, we can lose touch with our core needs and our inner self. It sometimes gets to a place where we are left at the end of the day simply enjoying a 10-minute shower, or getting to sleep. If the thoughts of the to-do list for tomorrow are keeping you up at night, it’s time to focus back on you.
So how do we combat getting to burnout? Let’s discuss how to quiet our minds, slow down, and re-center. To do that, we want to break down what self-care actually means. Self-care is how we take care of our minds, bodies and souls.
Take care of your body
From breath work to stretching, massages to exercise, what self-care steps can you take to move your body. The spa can bring in relaxation, or a daily wind-down routine to maintain your skin, hair, nail care cultivates physical self-care.
Being mindful in general is a form of quieting the mind. Meditation and other grounding exercises center us. When the mind is still and quite, what does your inner voice sound like? We must remember to cultivate self-compassion when working towards self-care.
Nourish Your Mind
In nourishing our minds, we are called to remind that what we take -in becomes part of our thoughts. Sometimes we need to take in “the good and the bad,” and in working towards self-care, we ask, what nourishes your mind? Is it taking a break from watching the news? Reading a new book? Attending a class that supports your interests and hobbies? Remember to have fun.
As we begin to quiet the mind, we are able to slow down, and discover what we really need. When we’re in a constant go-state, what we need may seem like a want. Hm, what? When we’re so busy, or use-to routines that lack self-care, doing anything outside of that norm might feel like an indulgence when it’s not. Take out a piece of paper and in two columns write a list of your wants and a list of your needs. Then take three items from your want list and put them in your needs list. That’s it. If you’re here and your reading this article, chances are there are at least 2-3 items on your wants list that would fit better in a needs list.
Align Your Soul
Ok is it really that simple though? We see you if you’re thinking… self-care? Who has the time, money, or the luxury for self-care. We’ve been there, we know the barriers seem too difficult. So we go back to the mantra: self-care is self-preservation. When we recognize it as self-preservation, we get as creative as we do when we tend to the other areas of life. Whether it’s joining a free yoga class in the park, taking time to ask and research affordable therapy options, going to the library to borrow a stack of magazines, a cookbook, a how-to knit book, or taking the extra spending money and getting that massage, because the kids did finish school and are in nice Summer camps, then do it. Do what you need, how you need, when you need. Putting off self-care leads to burnout. Feeling guilty for self-care leads to burnout. When we burnout, we aren’t there for ourselves and we aren’t there for others. So we invite you to consider, what does self-care mean to you?
Our team at PFCS also invites you to join our community for self-care meet-ups, workshops and events where we get together for wellness and mental health activities. To see a list of our upcoming schedule and to register, head over to our events page here.