This past week I was again reminded the importance of self-care. I used to think that I was being selfish when I took time to do things that gave me pleasure or nourished me. Now I know that self-care is necessary. Without self-care I can’t give my clients my best self. Without self-care I feel depleted of energy. Without self-care I feel more stressed and my grief can feel overwhelming.
I have begun to call my self-care practice radical self-care.
What do I by radical? When you hear the word radical, you may think I mean extreme or drastic measures. A regular reader of my newsletters knows that I recommend the opposite of extreme or drastic measures.
When I think of radical what comes to mind is a difference in the way something is usually perceived at its core level, or a different way of doing things from conventionally accepted practices.
Here are some of my recent practices;
- I sit in mediation each morning. I have been craving this quiet time. It sets the tone for the day. I ask for guidance, express gratitude, and pray for loved ones. How long are you willing to set aside each morning to sit in silence or meditate? It can be 5 or 10 minutes.
- I move my body each day in a way she wants to move. I have been noticing that my body has wanted more movement. Try this yourself and notice the difference between forced exercise that you dread and movement that stirs your soul.
- I do yoga 2-3 times per week. Yes, this is movement, and for me it deserves a separate mention because it is so much more than just movement. It is a practice that has brought me further in touch with my body. I found out last week that one of the superintendents on Dan’s job does a yoga class each Wednesday evening on the job site. These are construction guys. How inspiring is that?
- I am getting regular massages and acupuncture. My body needs this kind of support. What does your body need to feel supported?
- I am getting out in nature more. Watching the changing of the seasons is fascinating to me.
What fascinates you?
- I take a moment between activities to sit in silence, have a cup of tea, or watch the birds.
What can you do for a few minutes each day to help you relax and pause in between the busy activities of your day?
As you can see, radical self-care can be chosen to fit how you are feeling at any given time. You may have different practices that feed you. When you begin to take the time for yourself and care for yourself you will have more capacity to be there for others, and your grief may be a little less overwhelming.
Choose things that support you and your body. If you are not used to taking time for yourself and don’t know where to start, make a list of all the things you like to do and pick one thing from your list to do each day. You may be surprised how your body being responds when you take care of yourself. Let me know your thoughts.
I wish you and your family a holiday season filled with traditions that nurture you where you are right now. Remember you can forego any tradition that feels too overwhelming this year. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself space to process your grief during this time.
In service to love,