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Opportunities for Self Care

When you think of ‘Self Care’ what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I think we have been programmed to believe that ‘Self Care’ is a day at the spa where you are completely pampered. ‘Self Care’ is not spa days and pedicures (while it can be sometimes). There are an abundance of opportunities for ‘Self Care’ in our daily lives yet we often overlook those opportunities and become overwhelmed and exhausted.

I remember one time I was gifted a day at the spa, because I was so busy and overwhelmed the day at the spa actually stressed me out more than it would have if I would not have gone. So while spa days can be a wonderful gift to yourself, it cannot be at the expense of what you truly need to take care of you. If you do have a day at the spa make sure that you can go in and truly relax and be present because that is truly the only time that a spa day is ‘Self Care.’

What if you learned to make ‘Self Care’ part of your daily routine. It can even be something as simple as taking and extra breath or two to relax before you leave your house. It could be spending five minutes learning to meditate. It could be taking a pause to smell the flowers. Sometimes ‘Self Care’ is really just learning what your body and mind need in the moment and taking time to honor that.

It is interesting how this topic is my focus this week because I am currently feeling really under the weather. I am exhausted and woke up feeling like I was going to throw up yesterday morning. Knowing my body needs some extra TLC I have adjusted my expectations of myself for this week to accommodate how I am feeling. I had to cancel dinner plans and be okay with not making it to the gym in order to ensure I am getting the rest I need to get over whatever it is that is draining me this week.

In the past, if I was feeling this way, I would have just pushed through and continued to do everything I had planned. You know what my body would do when I would do this? I would get really sick and be stuck in bed for real. Learning to listen to your body when it needs rest is part of ‘Self Care.’ You intuitively know when you can push through and when you need to slow down. Learn to honor that.

So some days our ‘Self Care’ may be a day at the spa. On most days, however, our ‘Self Care’ is learning to honor yourself. What is it that you truly need today? Maybe today your ‘Self Care’ is going to yoga or going to the gym or taking an art class. Maybe tomorrow, you feel like I felt this week, and your ‘Self Care’ is curling up on the couch and watching a movie after work and going to bed at 9pm. Learning to honor what you truly need is the most important ‘Self Care’ you can give yourself. This week challenge yourself to become really conscious of the ‘Self Care’ you are needing that day. Take a breath and ask yourself, “What is it that I need today” and then actually listen to your own guidance.

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