Self-care is all the rage but I also think it can be misconstrued in that the way to practice self-care is by going to get a massage or get your nails done, or things that involve the classical form of pampering. While those things can be great, I am talking about the kind of self-care that cultivates a healthy and loving relationship with yourself.
Think of it this way, the relationship you have with yourself is THE longest one you will ever have. Literally from your first breath to your last, your body is what you’ve got – so why not make the most out of it??
I see far too many of my clients asking about what to eat while disliking a part of their body (or their whole body) with such intensity. Last week I talked to a handful of women that very clearly felt at war with their body, as if their body was doing them a huge disservice and that there were absolutely parts of their body they wanted to change.
But what if we spent more time appreciating what we already had instead of wishing for something that might not even be possible?? Our bodies are amazing. Absolutely amazing. I’ve been with far too many patients in a hospital, students in a yoga session, and clients in a conversation to think anything differently.
I aim to help women (mostly) feel good in their bodies and we can’t do that if we don’t sincerely appreciate the skin we’re in.
Because every INCH of your body is SUCH a gift. Your one toe that’s longer than the others. Your hair that’s frizzy/thin/curly/straight/long/short/thick/etc. Your legs that carry you from one place to another. Your belly that protects your internal organs and keeps you nourished. Your nose that you use to smell the most amazing food of your life. Those freckles that are like your own personal road map. ALL of it is a gift!
The more that women realize that, the more power and energy that frees up to step into who you are truly meant to be. It’s some powerful stuff y’all. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it.
But it takes time and it starts with a dose of self-care.
I work on curated individual self-care starters (commitments to yourself at the beginning of the day) with just about every client but because I’ve seen how helpful and transformative these can be, I wanted to share some with you on your journey. Each one won’t resonate with you. That’s not the point. The point is, take one or two that resonate, use/do it everyday, and leave the rest. Repeat as often as needed or change up ones that don’t work until you cultivate self-care maintenance because if you don’t show up for yourself, how can you show up for anyone else in your life??
13 Totally Free and Fabulous Self-Care Starters
- When you look in the mirror and start with any kind of negative talk, imagine you’re looking at your best friend. What would you honestly say to her right now??
- Do one thing today ONLY because you enjoy it. Prioritize pleasure.
- Comparison is a killer of joy. Aim to stay in your lane today – remind yourself you’re doing an amazing job at _____.
- If you do get hard on yourself, also remind yourself that you’re human.
- Mantra for a day/week/month/season: I am enough.
- If/when you feel less than enough (which you will), think of all the things it took for you to get here.
- If you’re still in a funk, put on some Whitney Houston (or your equivalent) and dance your butt off. You won’t want to. Do it anyway.
- Laugh. If you are in a season of pain/dislike/anger/frustration, fake it until you make it in front of the mirror. No judgement.
- Practice non-judgement with your emotions. If you feel a certain way, allow yourself to feel it! Don’t shove down anxiety, shame, guilt, anger or any other negative emotion hoping it will go away. It won’t. What would it be like if you just allowed yourself to feel ____ without judgement? My guess is everything would get a whole lot lighter in your world…
- Speaking of light, what can you make less complicated in your life today? We like to make things hard on ourselves. Can you choose the pre-cut veggies at the grocery store to make dinner at home before meltdown mayhem? Can you set the timer on your phone to drink your water because you know without it you’ll forget and get a headache? What’s one thing you can do to make life easier on yourself today? Do that.
- Meditate. For 2 minutes. For 5 minutes. Choose an anchor (breath, a candle light, a mantra), and allow yourself to clear space.
- Set a gratitude alarm today and everyday for a particular time (until it becomes habitual). WHY are you grateful? So instead of being grateful for a person, note why you are grateful for them. Perhaps consider starting your day with notes in a gratitude journal.
- Move in a way that feels good. You’re not exercising to burn calories, earn some pie, or change anything about you but rather choose a form of movement today only because it feels good.
Ultimately, self-care is learning how to grow into a better version of yourself. It’s nurturing all of the things that bring you joy while simultaneously making less room for negative self-talk and negative emotions.
More than anything, I find that habitual self-care prevents burnout on SO many levels and allows me to be there for people when they truly need it the most. What are some of your favorite free and fabulous self-care moments?