Yesterday I wrote in my journal, “self-care needs to become a daily practice.”
I like the word ‘practice because in implies I don’t have to be perfect.
When I think about self-care all kinds of ‘shoulds’ pop into my head.
I should eat better.
I should stop eating carbs.
I should exercise more.
I should meditate for thirty minutes every day.
I should go to bed earlier.
I should get up earlier.
I should cook more, and eat out less.
I should stretch every morning.
I should join a gym.
I should, I should, I should, I should…
The list could go on and I’m pretty sure you could add a few yourself. But, all these ‘shoulds’ aren’t getting me anywhere. The internal demand that I do all of these things all at once, every day, come hell or high water doesn’t really translate into me feeling better or taking care of myself.
When I ask myself what self-care looks like as a daily ‘practice’, a whole different feeling arises and a whole new image begins to take shape. It feels more loving, more gentle, more accepting.
I can ‘practice’ taking care of me each day without any demands of perfection, rigid control or domineering behaviors.
I can ‘practice’ taking care of me, each day, with loving kindness, non-judgement and acceptance.
I’m envisioning my daily ‘practice’ looks like…
Lots of solitude and quiet time.
Fun, solitary, physical activities like strength training and stretching, maybe yoga.
Half day play dates where I cut and paste, paint, create vision boards, art journal, or play with Lego’s.
Artists dates: visits to indie bookstores, coffee shops to read and write, local art shows.
Sleeping in and rolling around with no reason to get out of bed. Dreaming and day dreaming.
Quiet time to breathe and relax.
More solitude and time to reflect.
Dates with friends to hang out, talk, brainstorm, challenge each other, laugh and have fun.
And, being open to anything else that comes up that looks fun, interesting or relaxing.
Most of all, my personal, self-care, daily ‘practice’ is about giving myself permission to spend time alone, to read, write and reflect. This can be 15-minutes in the morning before the day officially starts, 30-minutes in the middle of the day, or an hour in the evening. The key is to ‘practice’ self-care each and every day in a manner that feels right to me.
I’m curious, what does self-care mean to you? What does the daily ‘practice’ mean to you? How have you given yourself permission to care for yourself?