What is self care and how can you show up for it?
I’ve thought about these questions a lot.
This is where I’ve come to.
To me, self care is recognising that I have needs and limits.
If my needs aren’t met and my limits are exceeded, my whole experience of life changes.
I’m less resilient, present, well, creative and happy.
Of course I don’t manage to meet all my needs and successfully observed all my limits all the of the time.
It's a practise, a constant navigation, rather than steady incline towards achieving the heady status of self care queen.
What I am steadily getting better at though is staying engaged in the navigation.
Even in the depths of my self care troughs I have awareness of where I am, and most crucially how to make my way out.
The light bulb moment for me was recognising that only I can be at helm of my self care ship and how it's unfair for me to expect anyone else to take the wheel.
Showing up for self care is showing up for myself.
It’s treating myself with compassion and actively seeking what I need.
It’s doing the things that I can’t really be bothered to do but that make me feel better after I’ve done them.
It’s the mundane task of keeping my flat clean and tidy because somehow that seems to bring about a feeling of serenity like nothing else – yep I’m one of those people.
It’s also making sure I do interesting things, that I enjoy and that are good for my creative health.
It’s moving my body intentionally everyday, so that I don’t feel like I’m just a head suspended in space for days on end.
It’s respecting and practising rest.
It’s writing three pages of free writing every morning (whatever comes out when you put your pen to paper) because doing so always shifts my perspective for the better.
It’s not feeling guilty about using the word ‘no’ as a response to things.
A good way to explore what self care means to you is to ask yourself these questions:
What nourishes you?
What clears your head?
What makes you feel lighter?
What strengthens your ability to face each day with a sense of ‘I can tackle whatever comes my way’?
Your answers are bespoke to you because your self care is bespoke to you.
There is no one size fits all. Different strokes for different folks you know?
On Sunday 11th November I’m co-leading a day retreat in London with the creator of slow crafting initiative Head & Hands.
It's called Show Up for Self Care.
We’ve joined forces to host a day that includes an exploration of moving, making, writing, accessible meditation and intention setting as pathways to self care.
It’s an opportunity to take a day out for yourself and try a handful of different practices.
To discover things that give you a greater sense of calm, grounding, nourishment and a feeling of being less in your head and more in your body.
Think of it as a chance to add some new tools to your self care tool kit.
It’s from 10-3.30pm and includes a vegan lunch. You’ll leave with inspiration for new ways to nourish yourself and three handmade tassels (made by you) that will be embedded with your own self care intention.
You can find all the info about the day here.