One of the five Soul Foods that I believe we all need to nourish in order to be healthy and happy, is Self-Care. This term tends to get used a lot by coaches, but do you actually know what self-care entails?
Self-care is NOT to be mistaken for being SELFISH. In fact, practicing self-care is a very giving act, because by nourishing yourself you are able to be a better person for all of those around you.
The reason we need to practice self-care DAILY, is because our lifestyles these days are really taxing and it is more difficult for us to nurture and foster ourselves so we can bring out the best in ourselves (and those around us).
Making the commitment to practice self-care is the same as taking a stand to live your life fully, and to make a clear space financially, socially, mentally, emotional and physically to do what is most important for you.
Taking care of yourself not only means you have more balance in your life but it also means you can have an improved quality of life too. So often, I work with clients who pour their hearts and souls into their families- making sure their husband and kids are happy- and into their work, that they leave very little for themselves. But this same nurturance that is given to others, also needs to be given to the SELF. Your needs are also important and you need to be loved and replenished on a regular basis. Essentially, to practice extreme self-care means to:
- Prioritize your own needs over others
- Listen to your body and take care of what it is telling you
- Rid yourself of guilt and that of feeling selfish
- Trust yourself and your opinions
- Recognize you are just as important as everyone else
Practicing extreme self-care can’t be easy?
Well, no, it isn’t at first, especially if you are not used to treating yourself in this new, caring way. The way we each practice self-care is going to be different, as we are all unique and have different areas of our lives that need nourishment. But it is useful to sit down and make a list of things you can do to take care of yourself- then you can refer to it in those times when you are feeling stressed, super busy, when you are sick or when you know that really need to take time out to care for yourself.
The areas you want to think about and to focus on in making your list are:
As you think about each area in your life, identify if and how that area is deficient in your life now and what is causing that deficiency. What needs to be done to nourish it more, where and when do you feel most deprived, and what could be done to improve that situation?
The answers will reveal what you then know you need to focus on as part of your extreme self-care practice.
It is so important to be able to take care of yourself. It starts a domino effect of happiness and positivity when you do. When you are being looked after emotionally and physically and spiritually then you have more energy and see the world in a better light and can then start to give that energy and share that positivity with those around you (rather than feeling tired, grumpy, moody and unhappy).
It is also amazing how when you look after yourself as a priority, the rest of your life will also just start to take care of itself- really! It is actually quite magical to allow that flow to happen by letting go and focusing on you (rather than everyone else’s problems). Helping those in your life to be more self-sufficient is actually really important and people can function without your help all the time.
Making a commitment to you and your well-being is making a commitment to improving your life. Extreme self-care is a major way to do this. Prioritise yourself first and put self-care on the top of your to-do list. This will help you to live life more authentically and more holistically which has major benefits all-round.
- What are your thoughts on extreme self care? Does it all seem too hard or are you convinced you want to give it a try? What do you think is the biggest challenge with this practice?