Self Care Definition
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. ... Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It's also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.
This is a fascinating and complex subject.
When asked what are the reasons that people don’t generally apply self-care, what do you think the answers would be?
These are some answers I got when I did some research:
Do you apply self-care? Do you know what it is? Self-care comes in many different shapes and sizes and can also be called getting our needs met, and we can do this in many different ways.
Self care can also simply be something that you do for no purpose other than you enjoy it or it makes you feel relaxed afterwards.
Years ago I was great at applying self care and meeting my own needs, that was before children, pressures of work, and the pressures of life taking over with one disaster or traumatic event after another. I then went through many years of not applying self-care, because I was depressed, or I just wasn’t in that place to be able to give it to myself. I was making sure everyone else was ok before me because that is just what I did, and I had no idea of the long term effects it would have on me not giving it to myself. I also had no idea that my own limiting beliefs, conditions of worth, childhood experiences, and traumatic experiences in adulthood were stopping me from being able to look after myself properly. I got into a viscous cycle, and a habitual rut.
At times (particularly of stress) I would blame everyone else for how I was feeling, not take responsibility for myself, and not say or do what I wanted because I didn’t think I was worthy to and this perpetual cycle of disempowerment and self victimisation just kept repeating itself until I started therapy, which eventually enabled me to see my patterns of self destruction and give myself the love and compassion that I needed.
I now know that in order for my family and friends to get the best of me I need to invest in me and there are many, many ways I can do this.
I use Reiki and energy work on myself along with guided meditation, mindfulness, creative drawing and painting, massage & holistic therapies, exercise and positive psychology including a gratitude journal which have all helped me to find acceptance and peace within myself and improve my self-esteem, mind-set and self worth.
Ultimately the journey to loving you and finding self-compassion is also the journey to understanding your relationships and improving them through the relationship you have with yourself. You can only improve the relationship you have with yourself by investing time in yourself. Ultimately it is an investment that you and the people around you will all benefit from.
Ironically self care and compassion is also the key to healing trauma and changing limiting self-beliefs and mind-set. Creative self-care is proven to increase feelings of wellbeing and self esteem which in turn boost mood and confidence.
Self care isn't just about having a lovely aromatherapy bubble bath, although this is lovely, self-care is about strong healthy boundaries, resilience, learning self respect and when to say NO, which is empowering and takes courage but all of this can be learned over time. Self-care is about getting up and standing on your own two feet and taking control of your life, doing the things that you want to do with the people that you want, when you want and how you want. All of these things equal authenticity, freedom of choice and autonomy and, for me, this is also what coaching is ultimately about and will lead to a happier place.
What is not to love but you?
Now I have a much greater understanding of what it is and why it is important, I am much better at applying it, in fact I know that if I don’t everything can suffer, my mood goes down hill fast which effects my relationships, my work and most importantly my wellbeing. Learning that it is OK to prioritise yourself, in fact that it is a necessity and that I am worth it, may be one of the most important healing journeys and learning curves of my life. In fact it may have saved me. xxx