It’s recently come to my attention that many of us continue to struggle with self care. Some people don’t know how to incorporate self care activities into their lives, and worse yet, some people don’t even know what self care means to them.
Today my double shot is about how practicing self care directly impacts our ability to achieve our fullest potentials. I believe that self care is one of the most important factors related to the change process, and that in order to maximize our potential we have to nurture our lives at ground zero… starting with ourselves.
Recently I was coaching a client who struggled to identify the ways in which self care was already showing up in their life. In this clients case it manifested in things like keeping a tidy home, making time to exercise, and continuing to invest in personal relationships. Initially my client didn’t see these things as self care activities and that got me wondering…
How many people struggle to connect what they already do in their lives to the concept of self care, and how many people have no clue what self care actually is?
I propose this definition:
Self care is any task or activity that has social, emotional, monetary, or personal benefits that are in alignment with an individuals goals and values.
Connecting to self care takes thought and consciousness but shouldn’t be terribly difficult. Here are some guiding ideas that might raise your awareness to how self care is showing up in your life.
- What activities do you engage in that elevate your values and goals? Think about the things you do that make you feel a range of good emotions such as happiness, fulfillment, and tranquility. Be sure that your identified activities are engaged with moderation and that they do not inadvertently deplete you.
- What activities do you want to spend more time doing that you believe will elevate your values and goals? Imagine all of the things that recharge you and make you feel like you’re at your best. In my case it’s bubble baths. Some of my clients have identified meditation, time for healthy cooking, and seeing family. What ever it is that you want more of… schedule it and make it happen.
- Talk with a close friend or family member. Often times clients (really all of us) have trouble seeing what is right in front of us. Using a friend or family member as a sounding board is often a great way to identify self care activities that you may overlook. When I’ve reached out to my friends and family I’m commonly surprised by the things they notice that I look past. Often times what someone else notices about you is a more subtle and elegant solution than you might ever have thought of.
Peace and love,