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When I decided to write this May post a few weeks ago, I looked online to see if there was a national self-care day. I found that there are several months and days of the year that claim to be some kind of self-care day or month. I chuckled at this finding and thought to myself, there are so many designated self-care days because self-care is important and should be an everyday practise.

So I hereby announce that everyday is self-care day. And so it is!

Why is self-care so important? Well, just like the flight attendants tell you in case of an emergency on a plane that you put the air mask on you first before helping others. Why, because what good are you if the person next to you (like your child) is okay and you’re passed out.

You can’t take proper care of others unless you take care of yourself first. There’s nothing selfish about it. If you don’t get enough sleep during the night, how well are you going to function through the next day. We’ve all been there and know those days can be tough. So doing what you can to recover from a lack of sleep is important for your own well being and for those you have to interact with during the day.

Quote to remember and live by.

“Every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, ‘This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!’ And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart, and say, ‘No. This is what’s important.’” 

~Iain Thomas

I’ve always believed in the healing power of self-care and this quote nails it. But there are many who don’t believe it’s true. Because of that belief, many see self-care as selfish and their needs aren’t important for whatever reason. To put it bluntly, they couldn't be more wrong.

I’m guessing there are a lot of people living some variation of the story above. This feeling most likely stems from their upbringing. Then go into adulthood with so much unresolved trauma. The result is low self-worth, and a variety of unhealthy coping mechanisms to keep the pain at bay.

Maybe we blame ourselves for pain from the past. Or we don’t think we’ve accomplished enough to earn kindness and care. The most important work is to heal the wounds that cause you to devalue yourself. When you can believe you deserve better, you can take the step of letting go of that negative belief. Then you can keep going even when it’s hard because you’re worth it. That’s when your life expands.

Healing isn’t a linear process. We all grow, then stumble, and maybe disappoint ourselves. Hopefully you forgive yourself so you can get back up and try again, one small step at a time. Keep taking those steps, even if you get knocked down. Face your pains instead of numbing them. Honor your needs and stop ignoring them. Except without judgement the things that aren’t working. Most importantly, challenge that voice inside you that says “I’m not worthy of love and care.”

Here is a list for self-care things you can do for you.

1. Make a list of physical movements you like and feels good.

Examples: go for a walk, soak in a bubble bath, brush and pet your dog/cat, Make/get something you love to eat, get out in nature in anyway that feels good, call an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while, or do some gardening. Do yoga or whatever physical movement feels good and right for you.

2. Make a list of relaxing, non/less physical things you like such as, take a nap, read a book for 15-30 mins., watch a funny or heart warming movie or tv show, eat something you love that you haven’t had in a while, do a guided meditation, enjoy a glass of wine, do 15 mins (or more) of easy yoga or yin yoga, do any activity you enjoy that’s relaxing such as rocking in a chair, painting, sitting outside and listening to the sounds around you or write in your journal. Treat yourself to a massage, or manicure or even a day at the spa.

Get the idea? Do something just for you that’s enjoyable for you and by yourself. Honor your ME time. Why? Because YOU are worth it!

There are many other reasons for self-care, because the results of taking care of you yield great results.

Such as:

3. Feeling calmer, more energized, and more fulfilled

Experiencing the joy of growing and exploring new possibilities when you invest in yourself and your potential and letting go of spending money on distractions that leave you feeling empty and stagnate.

4. You are at the top of your healing list which brings a feeling of peace within yourself, your past, and others as a result.

5. You’ll feel proud of yourself and you will be able to forgive yourself for things you think you could have done better. The focus is on doing better now.

6. You’ll feel more connected to yourself and start to trust yourself more as you make time and space to listen to your intuition.

7. Your relationships are about pleasure because you’ve set boundaries with people that hold you back, even if you have to let them go.

8. Your days feel more enjoyable and exciting because your time matters to you an you’ll feel physically stronger, mentally clearer, and more emotionally balanced.

9. You know your down time is important

10. You’ll surprise yourself how more productive you can be

When you address your needs, invest in your happiness and healing, and make choices to honor and support yourself. You’ll begin to notice improvements in every aspect of your health—physical, mental, and emotional.

You’ll continue to do better. This doesn’t mean you’ll always feel great and will never struggle again. You’ll still be human, after all. But your confidence through some difficult times will be easier to face because you’ll be acting from a stable foundation of inner strength through self-support and care.

Maybe you’ve already experienced some of these things. And maybe, like me, you feel like the path to valuing and prioritizing yourself has often been a journey of two steps forward and one step back. Maybe even one step forward and two steps back.

Some days you set boundaries and other days you suppress your needs in fear. Some days you make time for exercise and meditation, and other times have one too many glasses of wine because it’s easier than feeling your feelings, or acknowledging what you really need to do to feel better.

Healing isn’t a linear process for anyone. We grow, we stumble, we disappoint ourselves, but then hopefully we forgive ourselves so we can get back up and try again, one small step at a time.

What’s important is that we keep taking those steps, even if we get knocked down for a while. Try to face the pains instead of numbing them. Honor our needs instead of ignoring them. Acknowledge the things that aren’t working instead of settling on them.

But what’s most important...continue to challenge the voice inside that tells you to do or to be more worthy of love and care.

If your heart feels numb because of everything that has happened to you. Then it’s time to realize that was the past. You can move loving act of self-care at a time.

You’ve got this!



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