Self care - taking care of yourself - is often the last thing that care-giving, busy, ambitious, overworked, stressed people will take the time to do. Today though, I needed to just encourage myself to put myself back at the top of my own list...and so, too, will I encourage you to do the same.
Here's what I'm thinking:
Realistic, helpful caring of ones self is as individual as each of us are. What works for me may not work for you. And that's A-OK. All that really matters is that you take the time to figure it out for yourself, and then implement the plan that'll bake it into your life. It's the difference between a topping on an ice cream sundae, and getting the topping already mixed IN the sundae. If you don't make sure you get oreo ice cream in the first place, you could run the risk of an oreo falling off the top. Too risky. Mix it in.
If it's at all helpful though to you, I'll share what I've discovered is a helpful approach for me...so far.
First. When I feel like I'm either approaching to actually hitting that wall, I pause. I breathe. I pause and breathe until I feel present in the moment again. Sometimes it takes 15 seconds - sometimes it takes 5 days.
Second. I take stock of what my days have been looking like up until this moment. Have I been getting enough rest? Have I been mindful of what I am putting in and on my body? Am I aware of the way I am interacting with the people who come in and out of my life? How is my energy? At what level am I vibrating? When was the last time I felt like I just wanted to sing a little?
When I've figured that part out and I've discovered the elements I let creep in that I know don't serve me, I go about the business of putting up boundaries and re-establishing the habits and beliefs that help me incorporate them again. I allow myself this process and I repeat it as much as I need to.
For you, a boundary might look like sneaking five minutes alone in the bathroom. It might look like getting up from your computer and staring out an open window and just breathing for 90 seconds. Whatever is working for you - do that thing. Then build in the reminders and boundaries for yourself so that you don't always have to get right up against that wall in order to trigger this process.
Eventually, the habits and boundaries will be so fortified that self-care will be a incorporated nicely into the way in which you just go about the business of living your life.
That's the goal. I'll suggest, too, that if you have folks in your space that can help you, please reach out to them and ask them for support. We are not islands.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself, please. In order to thrive and move through this life we all need our health and we all need the love and support of each other. So prioritize that for yourself - whatever you discover that means.
then once you've done a bit of that, extend that gift to someone else in your life who may need it. Because giving back and engaging from this new place of abundance is another fantastic way to experience self care.
Believe me - I'm doing it right now :)