Self-care is a hot topic these days.

Taking care of ourselves is important. One of the things I’ve discovered is that self-care is necessary for us to step fully into who we are meant to be in this world. This was an important lesson for me as I excavated the life I was meant to live over the course of my grief journey.

I’ve had many conversations about self-care, and so many of us, myself included, think, (or used to think) that caring for ourselves is selfish, and we must take care of others to show selflessness. Yet, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we don’t have the energy to be there for others.

That led me to do take a deeper look at self-care, how it impacts us, and how it changes as we evolve.

Our needs may sound similar of we compare early grief and preparation for a marathon; however the specifics of each one looks very different.

Self-care always calls for attention to what we need at the time, such as, the need for rest and sleep, the need for good food to nourish our bodies, and movement.

When we are preparing for a marathon, our food and movement needs are much different than what we need in early grief.

Movement in early grief helps to move our feelings through and may be gentle in nature rather than the regimented schedule required for marathon preparation.

We may not be hungry, as we emerge from grief, yet nutritious food helps us to regain the capacity to feel our feelings. Food helps to support our bodies as we prepare for our marathon.

In early grief sleep may be elusive, or we may sleep more than we did before, or a combination of each. Consistent sleep is important as we prepare out bodies to run a long distance.

As you can see, self-care shifts according to where we are in our lives, and what is going on. I’ve touched on only a few of the activities we can do to take good care of ourselves. There are many more, and each person’s needs are different.

Take some time to listen deeply to what you need emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually.  Make a list of your needs in each category, and revisit it from time to time. You may discover your non-negotiable self-care rituals through this process.

Those are the things that are a necessity for you to be the best you possible.