Self-care is the latest buzzword that’s taken over wellness circles.
Type “self-care” into the search bar on Instagram and you’ll find more than 3.5 million very diverse posts.
Everything from gym-selfies and shoe-selfies, smoothie bowls and cups of tea, manicures and impeccably arranged essential oil bottles all seem to be fair game.
Type it into Google and you’ll find endless lists of things that some expert claims you “should” be doing in order to take care of yourself.
But let’s take a moment to consider what self-care is actually all about.
Self-care, at its core, is about prioritizing your well-being above everything else.
And while this might sound selfish at the surface, the truth is that you have to be selfish if you want to do any good in this world.
Because if you don’t practice self-care, you let physical and emotional fatigue and pain take-over.
And that means you don’t have the energy and stamina to face the slings and arrows that inevitably come your way in life.
You have to practice self-care in order to grow into the woman you most want to be.
It’s the only way.
The ancient Greeks new this.
They promotes self-care as an essential part of life as a good citizen, because they recognized that people can only do good and care for others if they feel good and take care of themselves first.
But there’s a big flaw in the way self-care is being promoted nowadays.
It’s become yet another thing on the to-do list.
And with lists already overfull, it’s not unusual for you to get totally overwhelmed by all the self-care things you think you’re “supposed” to do on top of everything else.
When self-care stresses you out, it ends up doing exactly the opposite of what its meant to do.
But the solution is simple.
Do less and enjoy more.
Joseph Campbell famously said: “Follow your bliss.”
That’s what self-care is really about.
Self-care doesn’t mean escaping from stress.
It’s not about exhausting yourself throughout the week and trying to counteract the negativity in your life with a bottle of wine and a Netflix binge while you take a bubble bath.
And it doesn’t mean rewarding yourself with a piece of chocolate cake after a 10 day “cleanse” (*ehem* crash diet *cough, cough*) either.
Self-care is about owning your choices and living your life on purpose.
It’s about taking an honest look at your life and evaluating:
- What parts light you up and help you serve your Higher Purpose?
- What parts drain your energy and drag you down?
And once you have that information, self-care requires that you intentionally steer yourself toward the things that make you feel better, and turn your attention away from the things that don’t.
It’s about doing what makes you feel best.
Regardless of what other people might say or think.
Sometimes that means eating more vegetables.
Sometimes that means eating more cake.
Sometimes it means going for a walk.
Sometimes it means meditating.
Sometimes it means observing your thoughts and learning to shift your emotions in a more positive direction.
And yes, sometimes it means parenting yourself and doing things that at first don’t seem like a whole lot of fun.
Put yourself to bed early when you need more rest.
Clean your kitchen when the clutter stresses you out.
But here’s the key.
The one-and-only thing that self-care truly requires is that you learn to infuse more love and joy into everything you do.
Even saying “no” sometimes (or a lot of the time).
Self-Care is not about how much you do.
It is about how good you are able to get yourself to feel in whatever it is you’re doing.
And sometimes self-care is about asking for help.
Because most of us have been brought up thinking that we’ve got to pay our dues.
That we’ve got to do or have this, that, and the other thing in order to feel good.
But in reality, the feeling good comes first.
It’s what makes all your doing worth doing.
So seek out wisdom.
Find guidance and support.
Whether that means reading the Bhagavad Gita or hiring a life-coach, find out what has worked for other people and let them point you in the right direction.
Then experiment relentlessly to find out what works for you.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What do you do to take care of yourself?
Leave a comment, I’d love to know!
And if you want inspiration and guidance to become the healthiest, happiest, and most confident version of yourself, enter your name + email below to get instant access to my (free) 3-part video training series.
’Til next time,
Love, hugs, and bubble baths,