Self Care. I see this everywhere. How important it is to do self care rituals. But then all I see if people laying in a bath eating a mount everest of chocolate or having a face mask on while binge watching netflix.
To me this has little to do with self care.
Of course I love doing these things myself ; ) But to me self care goes much deeper than self indulgance.
Self care to me means taking care of my energy: protecting it, redirecting it and sharing it.
How? I’ll share 3 of my daily Self Care Practices with you that are easy to implement but have a big impact.
#1 Ask Yourself: How Am I Doing?
So easy, isn’t it?
But how often do you simply move through your day without really examining how you feel? And if you often realise you feel exhausted by the end of the day, you might benefit from checking in regularly and seeing how you feel, then adjusting (see Self Care Practice #2).
Ask yourself these questions:
is my energy high or low today?
do I feel like someone or something has been taking away energy?
do I feel sluggish, hyperactive, angry, excited, spaced out, calm?
Then the first thing you want to do, is accept how you feel.
Know that what you feel is simply a flow of energy / prana / chi / life force that’s moving in a certain direction.
After excepting how you feel, move on to Self Care Practice #2.
#2 Let Your Energy Flow In Ther Right Direction & Balance It Out
Now that you know your feeling state, let’s make sure it will flow in the right direction in order to get balanced.
Always remember that like increases like & opposites balance.
So when you feel sluggish for example, you’ll want to add some energy to your day by going for a brisk walk or do a hiit workout. Or when you feel spaced out, ground yourself with a foot massage before bed.
Here are some easy suggestions for adding the opposite quality to how you’re feeling in order to get balanced instantly:
- feeling cold > drink warm almond milk with a date & cinnamon
- feeling hyperactive > release it first with a vigorous workout & then end with some delicious restorative yoga poses
- feeling blegh > do some twists & core work to refresh your body or go to a dynamic Vinyasa class
- feeling like someone has ‘sucked’ your energy away (I know sounds gross but this is sometimes how it feels, isn’t it) > have an introverted evening with meditation, soft music & journaling
Once you get the hang of this ‘opposites balance’ practice, it will be effertless and almost automatic.
Now you’re ready for the 3rd Self Care Practice : )
#3 How Can I Share My Energy In A Sustainable Way?
Now most of our life (unless you live alone & off the grid in a quiet forest growing your own food) is spent with interaction, or outward focused energy.
This is I think the reason we confuse self care with self indulgence: we’re all super exhausted from spending our energy on the outward world and start to crave pampering ourselves.
I recently had this on my holiday: we did a tour to all of our family in the Netherlands & Italy because we don’t see them very often. Which was of course important and nice. But halfway through our trip, I was exhausted from all the interaction plus trying to also protect my son Leo’s energy (as he can’t ‘defend’ himself yet against overwhelm).
So what I did was I made sure we had quiet moments of just being.
At least twice a day we simply snuck away for a little walk together with Leo, or we sat on the bed singing songs. Or sometimes we were at the beach and we looked at the sea together.
This way we both got a little break from outward focused energy (although as a parent I think you never get a break from that, but at least Leo did so I was calmer too ; ) and we came back to our family feeling more centered & calm.
Which meant we were able to be a lot nicer to everyone and enjoyed it a lot more.
Have a tea all by yourself at the office, just for 1 to 2 minutes. Or close your eyes and take a few deeper breaths.
Now what I love most about this last one is that taking care of our own energy flow and making sure there’s a balance between inward & outward focused energy, is that we can be more to the people around us.
We’re not drained and we have the patience, serenity and enthusiasm to be around them, help them and share our gifts.
In the end I think this should be the reason for self care: being able to be a better person for ourselves, the people around us & the planet.
What’s your favourite self care practice? Share it below!