What is self care and why is it important
Self Care is not all bubble baths and face masks
What is self care? You know deep down what makes you feel good, and that is self care. We all have different needs and only you know what it means for you. Yes it can be a bubble bath and face mask, but deep down its the real heartfelt act of caring for yourself and being your own support system. Self care is a huge part of self love, loving yourself enough to care and look after your needs.
It’s about building a life that you don’t need to regularly escape from.
Self care for me and for you
So I ask you.. what is self care for you? And how to find that out? Ask yourself these questions…
What things make you happy and fill up your energy cup? What really nourishes you in a way that you feel better afterwards?
For me, getting outside in the fresh air and nature is an act of self care. When I’m feeling low or stuck I go for a swim in the sea, a walk through the trees, feeling the wind/sun/rain and connecting back to the earth makes me feel better. Bringing my duvet to the sofa and getting cosy, curling up with a cup of tea and some chocolate and watching Friends is also an act of self care for me. Practising EASE with myself is a huge act of self care, so often I have high expectations of myself and when I can remember to go easy on myself it has a huge impact.
Self care is about letting yourself be normal, not putting all of these expectations on yourself. It is sometimes letting the house be a mess to prioritise something else for you, or deciding that your life goal isn’t to be thinner but instead give yourself the nourishment and enjoyment of the food you would like to eat.
Expectations and escaping life.
The act of self care has become another thing we are expected to be good at. Let go of expectations of yourself and focus on what makes you FEEL good. Focus on what makes you feel good in the moment but also being smart and looking out for your future self. Is eating this whole packet of biscuits going to make you feel good afterwards? Is sitting on social media in a hole of scrolling going to make you feel better about yourself? Having the awareness of knowing what makes you feel good and not good is self care.
If you find yourself regularly escaping life then it may be a sign you are disconnected and need to connect back to your SELF by CARING for yourself. Looking at your choices for your long term wellness and prioritising your mental and physical health.
It’s choosing self care over self sabotage. Self sabotage can come in many forms, whether that be turning to external sources such as alcohol, smoking or food, or procrastinating to avoid something. Let’s move away from fixing and punishing ourselves and move towards taking care of ourselves more.
Stop copying others self care rituals, it won’t work
I worked with a wonderful client for 3 months and at the end she said the biggest shift for her was realising that self care does not mean bubble baths and face masks. For years she didn’t practise self care because she said it didn’t work for her. So we worked together to find out what made her feel good. She then realised that her self care was going to the local fields and kicking around her rugby ball. That was what made her happy.
If you don’t find self care that works for you then it becomes a chore and you will not do it. Self care has to fit your particular needs and it also has to fit in with your life.
Where can you use more care right now?
Look at your week, where can you make time for yourself? What is it that is going to make you feel cared for?
It might something as small as drinking enough water today, or putting on 5 minutes of music and having a dance around, if that makes you feel alive – do it! If that makes your spine shiver and the thought of having a clear out of the cupboards is more up your street – then do that! Do not use the excuse that you don’t have enough time, self care could be closing your eyes whilst your on the toilet and taking 5 deep breaths to soothe your nervous system and bring you more into a state of calm.
It’s not always going to be pretty
You have to stay present when you are practising self care. This is not about finding the moments to numb out. It is your intention and presence behind self care that makes it so powerful. Sometimes it might mean sitting with your busy mind and voices using meditation or getting up an hour earlier to exercise or get outside in nature. If you can be accepting of the challenges and difficult times you will become much more resilient in life. It might feel like hard work and a trade off, doing something now so that the future you will thank you for. You keep going, not forcing but moving forwards with awareness and ease.
Your own best friend or your own enemy?
You can use self care to be your own best friend or you can use it to be your own enemy. Go gentle with yourself and go with ease. You might forget about self care, feel too busy to fit it in or just refuse to do it. That will happen and that is OK. Keep coming back and trying again. Practising compassion towards yourself is one of the biggest self care tools I can recommend. Nurture yourself and know that you are worthy of self care.
Who is Sharnelle?
Sharnelle and Julia met whilst they were both teaching on Yogafit Retreats Ibiza in October 2022. Alongside teaching yoga and breathwork, Sharnelle is a certified life coach specialising in body confidence and mindset for women. Find Sharnelle and her offerings on her website. They are hosting a wonderful pre-xmas self-love workshop. Read more here.