Thursday, February 13, 2014

Self Care: Not Just a Simple Concept

In the last few months I have been on a journey and it has taken me places I never knew possible. It started in September with my first panic attack, and I wrote my post about Emotional and Mental Burnout. It has been a very personal journey, but has also given me insight and perspective into, and for, the way most of us live our lives.
I might be going out on a limb here, but I feel most of us want to feel loved, accepted and even validated- but how are we doing those things for ourselves? I notice most of us running super fast paced lives with barely any time to care for ourselves, but making time to care for others.
A basic definition of self care refers to thoughts, attitudes, and actions that contribute to one's well being. I believe the days we live in with all of this political correctness, we think so much about others- which is good and well- but we don't always take the time to think of recharging ourselves. As I said in my post about A Year For Self Care, I mentioned that I was going to take this upcoming year to focus on self care (not to worry, we will have a lot of projects too). So maybe I should discuss the beginning concepts of self care (because self care gets pretty deep on some levels). I have found it falls into 4 different categories:
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Spiritual
We experience forms of stress on all of these levels. I believe our bodies have their own individual signs that try to get our attention when we do too much, our lives get out of balance, and they are begging for a break. As a massage therapist, I see it all the time on a physical level. As for emotional, mental, and spiritual levels, these signs might come more privately. Things that you might only recognize about yourself. The key to proper self care is self awareness. You have to want to be healthy.

If you are at a place where you are just starting to learn about concepts of self awareness and self care, please remember to have self compassion. Do not punish yourself, or degrade yourself for things you previously have not noticed or recognized. This life is a journey and learning should be uplifting.
Over the next year I plan on a series of posts on self care: how I discovered it, and and how it has helped me in my life. I will be covering self care in the 4 individual categories, and I will explore with you each one in depth. I hope you will go on this journey with me as we learn together how we have the power to change our lives for the better. Until then...