I like to call this the gift that keeps on giving, the art of self soothing, self regulation.
Self Care at its Finest. What exactly is self care? An how can we practice this Gift?
I wish I could say I grew up being taught by self help gurus on how to nurture my own physical, spiritual, and emotional body through self care. I wish I could say that this was something that was taught to me early on and instantly I knew how to control and re-direct my body, thoughts, feelings and emotions, specifically during times of heightened stress, during times when things happened beyond any ones control, when life got tough, or when the lemons came rolling in.
Now well into my forties I realize the importance of self care way beyond the physical realm. There is an emotional body and a spiritual body that requires love and attention as well. The emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies ultimately controlling the nervous system for an overall triad of balance with flow. The Art of Self Care, a ritual of self realization, to care for the needs of your emotional and spiritual well-being, as well as physical. An art and practice that took me years to understand, navigate, and actually put into practice.
It was only in my late 30's that I began to understand burnout and the need to say no with healthy boundaries. These days I love to pull back, I love to say no, I love to recognize when something is too much, or when feeling that the busy world is taking away from my own daily habits of personal wellness. I find these days, this time and this age, a time where anyone can easily drown in this glorious age of information overload.
We can easily get lost in the distractions of doing more, being more, and taking on more than we ever could have or would have imagined. I find it very easy to fill the days with stuff that may or may not have pertinent significance to our overall well-being. Between meetings, work, family duties and obligations, situations, small and large personal crisis, and all the daily responsibilities of adulthood, like cooking, cleaning, paying bills, grocery shopping, laundry, planning, and so on and so forth, we can easily get lost in the Land of Adulthood and poof just like that months turn into years and we find ourselves craving peace, solitude, and rest.
Another caveat to this crazy, busy world we live in, is how easy it is to just zone out;
to just ignore the exhaustion of our physical, mental, and emotional body and succumb to the power pull of the World Wide Web. Technology at its finest at our fingertips, whenever and however we want it. Anything we want, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. A cyber world filled with television, emails, text messages, and shopping, and all at the same. And poof by the time you know it, the day and evening has ended.
Slow down, stop, recognize, and redirect constantly and on a daily basis has been so beneficial to me these days in managing the to do's, and the day to day responsibilities of life. How am doing today? What thoughts are flooding my mind? Did I sleep well last night? Did I have a nutritious meal? Have I been mindful in my day to day duties? Am I practicing gratitude? A sort of self check in.
All questions I ask myself when I notice fatigue or heaviness setting in.
These days I find myself craving an intimate moment of peace just breathing and being while doing nothing at all. I find myself opening a gift of self care in the form of wellness on a daily basis and even preparing on what that gift will be for the following day. Shifting gears has become vital to my longevity and learning when and how to shift has become crucially and equally important.
The ability to self regulate as an adult is so much different than self regulation as a child.
As a child, we had someone over our shoulders telling us when to stop, when to go to bed, when to take a nap, when to eat, what to eat, when to go outside and play, when to bathe, when to study, we had daily supervision (most of us did), a parent, a coach, a teacher- someone constantly directing our every move for overall wellness.
We had someone directing our self care.
I find the term (self regulation/self soothe) often used with babies and children, as they often do not understand their own emotional uproars and needs when things don't go as planned. A hungry, tired, cranky child can lead to perhaps outbursts, tears, anger, hitting, biting, tantrums, so on and so forth. We all tend to learn from our parents some form of control as children, some form of (self regulation) as to how to act, how to respond, and most importantly how to control our feelings during times of stress, anxiety, or uncertainty. Usually children are disciplined and directed in some form to allow a thought process to occur with perhaps quiet time such as go to your room, or perhaps a privilege was taken away, some act or form of cessation with redirection. The art of teaching how to regulate. The term (self regulate) as an adult is the same and used interchangeably when self managing ones own emotional/physical health.
Tools such as Recognition, Awareness, and Positive redirection.
Fast forward to adulthood and now we have the weight of world on our shoulders. No disciplinarian at our side, telling us to go to bed early, no-one to tell us to shut things down. No-one to say, STOP or go outside and play. No star luxury wellness coaches, no personal chefs, no physical trainers, or home managers to run the day to day business of life.
Its all up to me. Its all up to you to stop and slow down. To recognize when enough is enough. The ability to know when the need to unplug, reset, and recharge demands top priority. When your body craves rest, sunshine, or good nutrition. When the soul reaches for peace and solitude, or when the mind calls for healthy, creative stimulation.
Stop to evaluate.
How can you take a moment for yourself? How can you offer yourself a gift of wellness?
A Gift to Self Regulate.
For some helpful tips on 100 Self care practices, click on the link below! Namaste!
Also, Listen in on Spotify as we dive deeper in conversation about Self Care!
New Podcast up and running- Prescriptions for the Heart on Spotify
Self Care is not Selfish