Self-care is what we do in order to take care of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health: all those things, sometimes big (going on a nice vacation or a retreat), sometimes small (taking some full deep conscious breaths or going for a walk in the park).
Self-care helps us feel more connected, happier and present in our lives.
Self-care is very personal and can take many different forms but it should become an essential part of our daily life, in particular for those of us who live in a place like New York City! But also anyone with high stress levels, health challenges and/or demanding jobs. And it is an absolute must for those caring for others (doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, healers, caregivers, mums and dads, teachers).
You’d be surprised to hear that only 15-20 minutes of “me time” a day can make a huge difference.
My “essential tool box” for Self-Care contains some of the following:
- Daily meditation (it keeps me sane and grounded!);
- Healing Touch Self-Care techniques on a daily/regular basis and 1 hour session as a recipient once a month;
- A regular use of Flower Essences;
- Getting on the table and let other practitioners take care of me when needed;
- Enough sleep;
- A Tech-Free zone bedroom (you read it right: no cell, no ipad, no laptop);
- A healthy diet;
- Physical activity (walking, yoga and pilates);
- Journaling (one of the simplest, easiest and most effective ways of “de-cluttering” your mind);
- Getting out of town from time to time to breathe some fresh air and be in nature;
- Nurturing and uplifting relationships (and avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent with those who drain my energy);
- Having fun;
- Knowing how to recognize those signs that tell me that it is time to go home and enjoy the quietness of my apartment before the city gets to me.
We all have busy lives and it is difficult to find the time to take care of ourselves. In fact, when we are stretched for time, self-care is usually the first thing we drop. And thus, we may avoid just the thing that we most need.
One of the best ways to make sure we fit some self-care into our lives is to schedule some time off and make it a priority.
If we just wait until things calm down at work, or when the kids go to school, or when the deadline is met…..it will probably never happen.
Be flexible, keep it regular and adapt to the situation as it is
As with so many other things in life, flexibility and regularity are important.
Flexibility because if one day you only have 5 minutes and not 20 or 30, don’t skip it altogether, adapt your self-care to 5 minutes.
Little and often is better than longer and sporadically.
When you have little time, simply sitting in a quiet place and breathing slowly and deeply can have a profound effect. Alternatively, we can do a short mindfulness meditation session or go for a walk. If you have more time, you can do the Self-Mind Clearing or the Self-Chakra connection, meditate, do yoga, write, do a guided visualization or engage in a creative activity….. Decide what to do depending on what you like most and works best for you.
My top four are Meditation, Healing Touch, Flower Essences and being in nature.
Choose the activity to match the time available and the mood you are in.
And, once a month (more if you can afford it!), put yourself in the hands of a skillful therapist for a full hour self-care treat.
You deserve it
Self-care is not selfish, it is necessary. YOU DESERVE IT. A time for you to let go, to recharge and reconnect with your life and with yourself.
If you don’t know where to start, here is a wonderful Healing Touch self-care technique, the Self-Chakra connection, that you can practice daily or 2-3 times a week.
Keep watching this space for more tips on self care!
Have a wonderful rest of week
Photo by Keran Look Loy