Where do you start? Begin by your own definition of what self-care means?
I shared my thoughts around the definition of self-care in this post. You will know what feels in alignment with your own lifestyle, personality and values.
Ask yourself the question - What does self-care mean to me? Take the next 5 - 10 minutes and write down all your definitions.
Next consider your definitions and ask the following questions:
When you are feeling that the needs of others are coming before your own, take a moment and put on your imaginary oxygen mask. If this brings up the feeling of guilt or shame you can shift this energy to loving kindness.
Here is an excellent process direct from Jack Kornfield who creates loving kindness meditations. You can use this mantra to repeat to yourself.
May I be filled with loving kindness.
After focusing on yourself for several minutes, choose someone in your life who has loved or truly cared for you. Picture this person and carefully recite the same phrases:
May you be filled with loving kindness.
Why do you begin this mantra with yourself? Because without loving yourself it is difficult to share love with others. (Remember the oxygen mask analogy?)
By imagining the person you are sending this energy to - you are supporting them and honouring yourself as well!
How to create your self-care practice is up to your interests. Choose activities that bring you joy. Dance parties, hip hop playlists, crossword puzzles and sound meditations, these may be a few of your favourite things. Your self-care practice is as unique as your own soul.
Once you have discovered what self-care means to you and cleared the path to loving you - make time to do it. Yup! This is where life can sidetrack you. It is really, really, really important to make a schedule first.
Hold on Barbara, you might say - I don’t do schedules. I can understand this. You don’t need sticky notes and coloured pens...although that is my jam. I also love using my phone and it’s many alarms.
Throughout the day my phone will beep with the reminder of
At the end of the day ask the question - What self-care have I given myself today?
If you haven’t participated in something nourishing for your body, mind or spirit do it before you go to sleep.
It is called a self-care practice - not to keep doing it till you get it right.
You’re already your best self - time to remember that.
It’s about creating new habits that are enjoyable and supportive by carving out the time to put yourself first.
If you would like to find out more about self-care through a self-discovery process, schedule a discovery call to chat!