Self-care seems to be an elusive aspect of everyday life. Last week while I was getting my hair cut my Stylist was telling me a bit about her health and wellness and the topic of stress and self-care. I’ve been thinking about this conversation all week, mostly because she really echoed what I hear from an overwhelming number of people. What exactly is self-care and how do we make time for it?
I think this is a really great question because it’s how a LOT of people feel; that in order to engage in self-care one needs to have an abundance of time on their hands. How we deal with our stress, take care of ourselves, choose to nourish our mind and body – these are decisions we have the opportunity to make everyday and each time we can choose a different adventure.
Steve Jobs claimed to have worn a black turtleneck and jeans everyday because it was one less decision he had to make, which allowed his brain to avoid ‘decision fatigue’. I’ve been thinking a lot about this too. What can I do weekly to free up some of my decisional powers? There’s definitely something to be said about having weeknights be associated with the same meal each week. By actively engaging our life in this way those mundane daily decisions can become habit and our time and mind is freed up to explore how we integrate ritual self-care and spend more time making decisions that point us down the path we want to walk down.
Self-care can be as mundane as reading each night before bed, giving yourself a little foot rub when you get home at the end of the day, packing your own lunch so you have nourishing food to sustain you at work or walking your dog each morning! In my opinion it doesn’t need to be something that feels unobtainable because we rarely do things we don’t think we can. That said, self-care can also be dedicating time and space to a particular practice like yoga or qigong, using your favorite face mask every Wednesday to help get through the week or setting up an altar and lighting candles a couple times a week to honor your ancestors.
Self-care requires actively engaging in caring for your self. Self-care is not selfish it’s necessary. It can act to enrich our relationships with others, help us set healthy boundaries and learn the language of our body. Unplug, unwind and engage in some meaningful contemplation of what this looks like for you, how to create the time you need and have fun exploring the many rituals of self-care!
* y favorite ritual lately has been getting back into reading and spending an hour each night before bed enjoying some good fiction novels with a cup of tea (or, sometimes, a beer!)