I define self-care as the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual care we give ourselves in an integrated way and indefinitely. By this I mean that self-care is not about a one time trip to the mall, hair or nail salon. Self-care is about the intention in that trip, how you feel about life and yourself before taking that trip and whether that feeling is true. Self-care is NOT unintentional in this definition. Self-care requires self-awareness, reflection and initiative to shift. Self-care requires patience, self-love and the ability to forgive and be forgiven within the self.
Self-care is a buzzword now but when I started my journey – all of the above ideas are what I considered and had already been on the journey of practicing and refining for myself.
Since the beginning of my unraveling of self-care, hence, my self-awareness I’ve realized that what I had been learning, doing and feeling were not set in stone – and I have been practicing strategic self-care. When we are on auto-pilot with our self-care we are often in the mindset of “doing” instead of “being”. This is why I say that self-care is a state of mind not just an individual act. When you are in the mode of “being” self-care, getting your hair and nails done takes on a whole new definition and is a whole new experience. In “doing” self-care we go to the therapist, but without information instead of speaking our truth in the safe space and getting the help we know we desire. (Waves hand! – I’ve been there!). In “doing” self-care we vent to friends, without an interest in their wisdom – we just dump. In “doing” self-care, we shop to fill a avoid in our psyche where emotional self-expression, spiritual seeking and rest should reside.
In my unaware self-care days I used to think that getting my hair and nails done DEFINED how well cared for I was. Now I know those things don’t define me at all but getting them is due to my inner joy, not my attempt to mask my outer frustrations. I sleep better and more now because it is a part of my “being” well, not because I thought I was supposed to be asleep by 9pm each day (which I would force myself to try to sleep but I wasn’t tired or too anxious to sleep) but because I am naturally tired from being fulfilled in my day. In fact, because sleep is part of my “being” I am now able to take non-negotiable naps throughout my day.
If I could define I would say “doing” is mindless and socially constructed while “being” is internal drive. We can see this with any subject – grief, forgiveness, love, finances, sex, self-expression, fashion, etc.
Think about how you practice self-care, your strategies and preferences and consider if it is your act of “doing” or your “being” that drives you. Discover and craft your own journey so that what you do does not feel like a dead-end destination.
I love to support women in unraveling themselves and healing! Schedule a time with me. I would love to support you!