We’ve Got Self Care Wrong

We talk a lot about self-care– it’s already a very 2019 word. talk a lot about self-care as a Certified Life Coach, Certified Yoga Instructor, and Parenting/Lifestyle Correspondent on TV. When we think of self-care, we often think of hot baths, or massages, or this picture I posted yesterday on social media – I shared it in my instagram story.

We’ve Got Self Care Wrong

Self-care for me two days ago was the gift to myself of $8.00 tulips I put in my kitchen window sill to look at while I’m doing the dishes or sipping my coffee, to help me channel spring and radiate sunshine.

Our Montreal winters are rough, I tell ya, people.

And I realized that even in my yoga class, when I have my yogis on the mat, I often say to them as they are lying calmly on their backs in sivasana at the end of class, I invite them to channel the good vibes and keep them going after class— a nice hot bath, a warm cup of tea, a nice book, a show on tv that makes them laugh. Something just for them that is pleasurable to end off their evening. That in order to bring their gifts to the world, they cannot give from an empty cup.

But here’s the thing: self-care isn’t limited or limiting.

Self-care is so much more. It’s way more. Self care also means sitting down at your desk and looking deeply into your financial situation and making a plan to pay off your debt. It also means keeping clear boundaries between work and home. Self-care isn’t just spa days or date nights.

Taking care of yourself is sometimes facing hard things. It’s sometimes doing hard things… that don’t feel very pleasurable in the moment. It’s sometimes short term pain for long term gain – and yes, that is still self-care, make no mistake.

If you think self-care means time alone to regroup, which it most certainly does, it is also so much more. I’d like to share Jane’s work from Habits of Wellbeing in her 8 Different Areas of Self-Care. This is so beautifully explained to you.

  1. Physical self-care: involves movement of the body, health, nutrition, sleep, rest, physical touch, and sexual needs. Some examples of physical self-care include –
    • going for a walk on the beach,
    • having an epsom salt bath,
    • learning a new dance routine,
    • getting enough sleep, and
    • eating nourishing foods.
  2. Psychological self-care: involves learning new things, applying consequential thinking, engaging intrinsic motivation, practising mindfulness and creativity. Some examples of psychological self-care include –
    • practising mindfulness,
    • journalling,
    • reading a book,
    • learning or teaching a new skill, and
    • doing a digital detox.
  3. Emotional self-care: involves enhancing emotional literacy, navigating emotions, increasing empathy, managing stress effectively and developing compassion for self and others. Some examples of emotional self-care include –
    • writing in a gratitude jar or gratitude journal,
    • saying no,
    • make time for reflecting on feelings and developing emotional literacy,
    • practising self-compassion, and
    • being aware of my own boundaries.
  4. Social self-care: involves having a supportive group and network of relationships around you whom you trust and turn to when required. Having caring and supportive people around you builds a sense of belonging and connectedness. Some examples of social self-care include –
    • belong to 3 groups or communities outside of work;
    • honouring your commitments to other people (i.e. do what you say you are going to do);
    • ask for help when you need it,
    • meet new people, and
    • go walking with family and/or friends.
  5. Professional self-care: involves sharing your strengths and gifts, having clear professional boundaries, whilst living your purpose. Some examples of professional self-care include –
    • eating a nourishing lunch each day at work,
    • negotiating your needs,
    • having clear professional boundaries,
    • knowing your roles and responsibilities, and
    • attending professional developing or having coaching.
  6. Environmental self-care: involves having an organised, well maintained and clutter-free work, business and home environment, having clean clothes and a clean and well maintained mode of transport. Also minimising waste and monitoring technology time. Some examples of environmental self-care include –
    • decluttering your home or work environment,
    • recycling as much as possible,
    • monitoring technology time,
    • cleaning up after a meal, and
    • maintaining and clean and safe living environment.
  7. Spiritual self-care: involves the beliefs and values  that are important to you and guide your life. This includes pursuing your noble goals and the practices that support you developing spiritual awareness. Some examples of spiritual self-care include –
    • meditating,
    • reflecting in a journal,
    • volunteering at a local organisation,
    • going on a retreat, and
    • walking in nature.
  8. Financial self-care: involves being responsible with your finances (i.e. living expenses, income, insurances, savings etc.) and having a conscious relationship with money. Some examples of financial self-care include –
    • knowing where your income is coming in,
    • knowing where your expenses are due and paying them on time,
    • keeping your insurances up to date,
    • completing your tax responsibilities on time, and
    • opening and saving money wisely.

PRETTY GOOD STUFF, RIGHT?

So, my beautiful ladies, I invite you today on this Thoughtful Thursday to make a REAL self-care date with yourself. Maybe next week you tackle financial self-care and the week after professional self-care. Self-care will make your world a better place, and then the ripple-effect will spiral out… the world will feel it too.

What do you think?

We’ve Got Self Care Wrong

3 Comments
  1. I’m trying to promote self-care in my portrait photography for women. I want to impart how important it is to spend time in an experience that is solely about revealing/uplifting a woman’s views and feelings toward herself.
    It’s a tough sell. I think we are so often programmed to put those thoughts toward another, or toward our children. But it is so important that at different stages in our lives, we are able to recognize our strength, our beauty and our womanhood in ways that our uniquely our own. A celebration of the self as well as a remembrance.

  2. In my own opinion, or in my own perspective at least. Self-care is much more but is limited and should be observed responsibly. You can’t just go around splurging yourself with your wants rather than your needs.

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