The practice of self-care.
We get really focused on what it is that our neighbor is or isn’t doing. What our friends, or worse yet – our enemies, have going on or don’t have going on. How we get so focused on everything and everyone around us and we spend little time attending to our own backyard.
It’s easier to acknowledge their assets or their faults versus our own.
So today I talk to you about the importance of “You Doing You” because if you’re not doing you, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Self-care, time to attend to and focus on yourself. What is it that you need to make you happy? What is it that you need to nourish your mental, physical and emotional health?
The practice of self-care isn’t easy…
We can feel judged, self-conscious, we can feel vulnerable, exposed and insecure in the act of taking care of ourselves…. Say what? How is it possible that we can feel concerned about the act of taking care of ourselves?
Because I think to acknowledge that we need to take care of ourselves is hard. When we live in the world of perfect, why would we ever need to attend to self-care?
Self-care is suggestive that something is wrong or that perhaps you are not perfect. This makes my head spin to be honest. Self-care gets translated to dinners out, to shopping trips, manicures, pedicures… Literal acquisition of things, layering things on top of what we already have versus dealing with what’s actually inside ourselves – what’s needed.
Self-care. Sleep. Nourishment. Showering. Bathing. Exercise. Support systems. External resources and internal confidence. You attend to the house. You take care of your friends. You understand that your car needs it’s oil changed, it’s gas tank refilled and a checkup in order to keep functioning – there’s nothing wrong with it, it simply needs this things in order to continue operating. Yet, we miss the mark when it comes to understanding that we too need our own tune ups.
Self-care is a huge aspect of what I need to do to personally take care of myself…
And it’s hard to explain it to people. To try and educate that in order for me to function as a friend, in order for me to be a partner, a family member or someone who can offer something to anyone.. I have to take care of myself.
One of the acts of self-care that I engage in is time alone.
To tell people that I cannot go out and do things because I need to spend the night by myself is hard. A lot of people take it personally and I can feel self-conscious that I need time alone.
That theme of popularity – that the more friends you have, the busier you are, the greater your worth. I become self-conscious when I’m not doing things. When people ask what I did the night before and I tell them that I stayed at home… alone. I start to judge myself – even though that’s what I needed the most. And the thing is, I tried to play that game of socialite. I was busy. I did things all the time. And although my calendar was full I wasn’t happy – or at the very least I wasn’t full in a nourished, satisfied whole person kind of way.
What we need to do to take care of ourselves is unique…
… to all of us and throughout our lives it can change. When I have spent a lot of time on my own – I need to go out. I need to engage with other people, to get out of my own head and out of my own thoughts. Through trial and error I have a better idea of my ratio. But I’ve gone through both extremes… The way I learn, maybe the way many learn is through experience. The results, neither good nor bad are simply educational opportunities to teach me more about myself and perhaps about other people.
This is of course how I see it. I completely appreciate that we all uniquely approach the world with our own perspectives and experiences (there will be another article on this soon).
But I encourage the world to understand that taking care of yourself is a vital element in feeling like you are a functioning, capable and satisfied human being. Life can be tough, it’s events can be challenging and trying to navigate your way through external and internal demands, expectations and the simple cards that your dealt.
In saying I also ask that you respect that others will need to take care of themselves in their own ways as well. Lets give space to be different, to be unique and to support each other in being the best versions of ourselves for ourselves & in turn each other.