When I first started exploring self care, I thought that it was just taking care of my physical body, meditating and doing personal development work.
I came to realize that true self care is creating a safe place WITHIN myself, where I can feel free to be however I am in each moment without judgement. I had no idea how critical and judgemental I was of myself until I started becoming aware of the constant train of thoughts moving through my mind throughout the day!
What really changed the game for me was connecting to my intuition and allowing my intuition to guide my decisions, rather than doing what I thought I should be doing.
And my intuition surprised me! It showed me that true, deep self care is woven into the real-life decisions that I make every day.
So yes, self care is taking baths, meditating, eating well and getting enough sleep. What I learned when I started truly listening to my intuition is that self care is also:
- taking responsibility for my financial situation: actually saving money and reevaluating my spending priorities
- creating boundaries in my work and home life
- distancing myself from certain people and dynamics
- saying no to things I don’t want to do
- saying YES to things that I want to do but would normally talk myself out of
- taking a nap once in a while
- taking a break during my work day to do some breath work when I would normally push through it all and put pressure on myself
- calling myself on my shit and choosing different reactions in the moment so I can grow
- maintaining my car and other possessions so when something breaks it isn’t catostrophic
- taking action rather than procrastinating so that “Future Vanessa” doesn’t have so much to deal with
- cleaning and decluttering my space regularly to keep the energy flow and my mind clear
- changing my eating habits in accordance with my intuition: some days all my body wants is fruit, other days it wants a burger…eating intuitively and not judging my food choices, because my body listens to EVERYTHING I think!
- learning how to properly care for my specific hair type so it’s not all frizzy and dry
- self-soothing: hugging myself, using EFT tapping, rubbing my body where it’s uncomfortable, and speaking kind words to myself when I’m feeling really heavy emotions
- pushing myself out of my comfort zone when I know that there is an expansive opportunity on the other side (not to be confused with pushing myself into burnout through workaholism)
- encouraging myself to keep my heart open when I get triggered so that I can work on healing the trigger and forming a deeper connection with myself and the other person/situation
- listening to music that feels good in my body
In summary, all of these self care practices came from me learning to reparent myself and listen to my intuition, rather than the stream of thoughts telling me what I SHOULD be doing. Following my intuition has become a daily practice that I weave into all of my activities (as much as possible…I’m not perfect at this!), and has led me to feel more grounded, centred and content than I ever have in my life.
And I know that this is just the beginning. I’m actually excited to get up and practice this and see how my life can evolve each day. I know there will always be struggles and challenges, and even downright traumatic things that will happen, but I trust that I will be able to navigate these life events with more ease, grace and self-compassion if I follow my intuition through them.