Introduction to Your Self-Care Practice
Self-Care is a very personal practice. The whole idea is that it has to nourish you. It either gives you a break from what you are doing for the moment, or makes you more present with life. Both of these can be extremely healing depending on what’s going on for you. Self-Care is meant to feel good. If it doesn’t feel good - don’t do it. Yet if you have set a goal to be disciplined about a change, you may need to apply loving-kindness and encourage yourself to stick with it. As with anything in life, there is a delicate balance. Self-Care isn’t linear, rather it’s a spiraling of in and out breaths. Sometimes feeling connected to others nourishes you, and sometimes you are most nurtured by being connected to yourself in solitude. Be fluid in the moment because some days we have more time for self-care than others.
Many people think of self-care as related to the physical needs of eating well and exercising. Although this is true, the importance of mental and spiritual health is paramount. Another idea is that you need a big budget to afford self-care, but self-care can be totally free! A third idea is that you need heaps of free time to practice self-care. But in reality, we can incorporate it in just 1 minute sometimes. We need to consider all aspects of our well being: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual in order to truly take care of ourselves each day.
The Spheres of Self-Care & the Importance of Addressing Them
I look at Self-Care in terms of four aspects or spheres: Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual. In order to feel balance within your self-care practice, and furthermore, your life, you can tune into these different spheres and make sure you tend to them each day. For example, exercise may be both physical and mental; meditation is Spiritual; and on some days, baking is emotional. On a day you are feeling super emotional, reach in to find those tools that nurture your emotional body more. If you need more tools, let’s discuss how to build your tool bag.
Here are some topics to guide your choices:
Exercise & nature walks
Self-love & massage
Meditation and connection to self
Spiritual practice and connection to your beliefs
Connection with others
Natural remedies, tea and healthy eating
Nourishing activities like crafting, coloring, baking, sewing, etc.
Creativity & sexuality
Dance & music
5 Steps to Putting Self-Care into Your Life
Prioritizing Time for You – (Is this a hurdle to giving to yourself?) Let’s talk about it. We may even do a round of Tapping to help clear any blockages. Or a simple re-frame may help you see that you are already doing forms of self-care
Treating Yourself Like a Baby or a Pregnant Mom - What are things you did for yourself when you were pregnant that you no longer give yourself? How much easier was it to take care of yourself, and then your baby? You still deserve it! You are taking care of a family now.
Replacing Unhealthy Habits with Positive Patterns – You can make a list of unhealthy habits and find positive patterns to replace them. Then add in new things you want more of in your life. I’m happy to help you with this, too.
Creating Time for Self-Care - The key here is often scheduling it in! So if you want that weekly yoga class, sit down with your partner and choose the time that works for everyone and claim it for you! If you want to walk every day, set a time like 10:30 am rain or shine. “I’m doing it”. Some days you might walk slower and shorter, other days longer and faster but stay disciplined. Think about, and then list, the things that you want to schedule into your self-care practice. It’s the quality of the time we give ourselves, not just the quantity.
Finding 5 Minutes a Day Just for You - Now I’d like to encourage you to do my 5 min. a day Self-care Challenge. Pick one self-care tool that takes just 5-minute. Commit to doing that every day for the next 2 weeks.
I am happy to work with you to make sure you have done it. Sometimes finding those 5 minutes can be challenging. Here are some tips to utilize these moments:
a. “waiting time” – you know those 5 minutes when you arrive early to pick your kids up from school.
b. “found time” – someone cancels an appointment and you’ve got an extra hour.
c. “extra time” – often this is early in the morning or after the children go to sleep.
Unfortunately scrolling on the phone often fills these gaps; but you can decide not to. You can choose your self-care instead.
This flows into our next topic, Accountability. I know it isn’t sexy, but you have to show up to make self-care yours. Understand that your body is a temple, your physical dwelling place while here on earth is a mindset that paves the way for truly loving yourself. Self-acceptance leads to self-love, and only you can do it. Self-care is a choice. It’s that moment where you decide to honor your time.
If you want to move from surviving to thriving you have to make some changes to your daily lifestyle. You have to be accountable to yourself, your values and your goals. The foundation for change is love and wisdom. When working with me, I can give you both: the wisdom to know what your self-care is and when/how to use it, plus the loving, feminine quality of support. We all need help to get there and that is what sisterhood is for. Perhaps you need more support in your life to make these changes. That’s what I am here for, so lean in and let’s journey together!
Self-Care is now possible and attainable. Let’s find support in our hearty self-care tool bags and use it!
Jahnan Derso is a self-care coach with tips to help you boost your health and take care of yourself holistically. She also practices Maya Abdominal Massage on women who are looking to conceive, become pregnant, post-partum, and healing their wombs. She is the creator and author of HibiscusHealing.com where she combines her life experience and educational knowledge of the last 20 years to offer you healthy lifestyle solutions.