I've always heard about self care and seen everyone in the book discuss it to great lengths. It was a lot of okay okay, yeah yeah I get it. A pretty simple concept. Almost common sense because you know that in order for something you care about to work right and last for a long time then you have to take care of it.
You have to clean it, polish it, be gentle with it to prevent unecessary wear and tear. We know that about jewelry, cars, heirlooms, clothing, just about any possession. It's accurate for those so doesn't it make sense that it would be true for ourselves, for our physical bodies. Granted we are more than our physical bodies, spirit and essence flow freely. But right now, in this lifetime your spirit is inhabiting a physical body. A vessel to live this current life.
To make it last and show gratitude and that you actually care about yourself. YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF SELF. To live the best life and get the most out of your time here you have to practice self care. Again it sounds easy, like common sense and in a way it actually is. But over time from personal experience and from watching the people around me I know that it's often easier said than done.
Self Care is literally just taking care of yourself in every way. So that means eating as balanced as possible, getting active (not necessarily at the gym), resting, creating and doing whatever else makes you feel good that doesn't involve hurting anything or anyone else. It's protecting your energy. It's treating your body, mind and soul with the highest regard. It's giving a fuck about yourself.
A big misconception is that to practice self care you have to do a certain thing. Most people automatically think self care looks like luxurious baths, candles, massages, spa music, yoga, etc. Those are definitely some forms of it yes. But if you don't do any of those things, you can still be self caring it up with the rest of them. All you have to do is begin the ongoing journey. The journey of looking within, quieting the noise and taking a moment to think about what you like, the moments where you feel the most at peace, and the things you love. What makes you feel energized, inspired, content and just good. What are you doing? What do those things look like? Feel like?
...... Seriously ask yourself. Take a moment to think about it. Then write it down. On a post it, in your journal, in the notes on your phone. Just make a list and add to it as new things come about. These things on your list are what you need to balance you out. To set your soul at ease and keep your inner flame lit.
For me self care looks like baths, writing in my composition book, writing letters to the people I care about, showing love to people, listening to music and singing my heart out. It looks like being barefoot walking in the grass, feeling the sun on my skin and listening to the sounds of nature. It's creating memories with people I love, meaningful conversations and enjoying great food. I'm big on making things with my hands and putting energy into the details. Whatever that may be in the moment. From jewelry to gift boxes and care packages crafted and sent across the country. From letters to videos. Self care to me is taking moments to be still and outside in the sunshine. It's talking and expressing what is in my heart regardless of what anyone outside of myself might think. (I didn't always feel that secure in myself but I'm getting better at it. Issaaaaa process) It's doing all the simple things I enjoy doing with no "reason" for it besides the fact that I want to.
Ultimately self care goes hand in hand with self love and it's one of the hardest things to attain but it's the most powerful as you sustain it. I have come across some of the most beautiful people, I'm talking inside and out. The most kindhearted, talented, caring, and incredible people. Who when complimented and shown love often shy away from it and downplay it. I understand being modest. But what I feel more often in those moments is wavering self love and the ultimate lack of self care. I feel them not believeing in themselves and not feeling like they deserve the love because they are not enough of something.
I know the feeling so I can definitely understand how someone can feel that way. That's all the more reason why it breaks my heart to see it and why I stress the importance of self care and doing what makes you happy. I hate seeing people stressing, upset, frustrated, with little patience and beating themselves up. I can see through the facades and feel the hurting pieces inside that need to be put back together. The fear and shyness. All because I know what it looks like from years of looking in that hazy mirror.
It takes some work to clear the fog and appreciate all that you see, all that you are. But I can say that it's not impossible. You just have to again, make the effort to take care of yourself. Show yourself love. Be gentle and kind to yourself. No matter what kind of life you live, the hats you wear, the you without anything else. The you that is there when the lights are off, the world is silent, and you're bombarded with all your little pieces. That's the you that needs to be loved on and taken care of.
You deserve it.
I could go on with every tiny reason and over time I might even write a book on it. We'll see. But right now, in this moment. If you're reading this. I want you to know that you cannot let yourself fall through the cracks. You don't deserve to be overlooked and put on the backburner. Not by anyone, especially not yourself.
Take care of you. 💓