October 26, 2018 • Veronica Kimani
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent.
Caring for myself is an act of survival.”
– Audre Lorde
Press Pause. Take a Minute to Care For You!
The term self care has taken a life of it’s own, a new-age phenomena, a lifestyle editor’s buzzword. What does ‘Care For You’ mean beyond spa days and out of town trips? Can we begin by reading Self Care as the first step to embracing all the many ways we can share kindness and compassion to others and mostly to ourselves?
For me, Self Care looks like doing the things which ground me, allowing me to be my best self to everyone I interact with. Sometimes, Self Care looks like taking 5 deep breaths when in a stressful situation, saying a prayer in my head or simply speaking positive affirmations to shift and uplift my thoughts. Other times, Self Care looks blocking off a free Friday evening just for me to enjoy a nice bath, a few lovely scented candles and my favourite Green Tea.
The older I get, the more important self care becomes to helping me meet all my goals and targets- the better I care for myself the better I can tend to my relationships and give my best efforts at work. I’m reminded of the positive impacts prioritising my wholistic wellness has., creating a lifestyle around cultivating peace as opposed to living a life of normalised cycles of putting out flames of fear and anxiety. Just like the doctor says ‘prevention is better than cure’, Self Care sounds like setting up barriers to protect myself before disaster strikes, creating a lifestyle which cultivates and priorities wellness as opposed to normalising and living around continuous flames of anxiety.
Sometimes Self Care looks like taking a few minutes of your busy day to be present, to check in and recognise how you are feeling when other days, self care includes a little splurge on products which help you feel your most beautiful. A few minutes rubbing your favourite lavender scented body butter as a busy mum can be the only free time you have, and this is no small way of taking time to recognise how you are!
Who is a better investment than you? 😉
Self Care to me also looks like a morning ritual in 6 simple steps!
1. Ensuring 6 hours of sleep are uninterrupted (let your phone charge across your room, nothing is so important that it can’t wait for morning!)
2. Brew a cup of lemon & ginger as soon as I get up and taking a few minutes of my day to ground myself in all it’s delicious flavours and warmth.
3. A yoga session which allows me to set an intention for the day. On some days, this can be as short as 10 minutes and the intention as simple or as challenging as ‘I choose to be calm regardless of what the day presents’.
4. A few minutes spent pouring any thoughts I have on paper through a Morning Pages session. Writing is a self care practice that helps me connect with my thoughts and feelings, and more beautifully, connect with you! I advise you to take a few minutes everyday and use writing as a tool for manifesting your dreams. Make sure this includes reflections on what you are most grateful for today.
5. I then give myself time to listen to something educative or spiritually nourishing, often in the form of a podcast. This is a great way to affirm yourself with positive and inspiring messages before you begin the day.
6. THE BEST PART IS BEST SAVED FOR LAST!
Having fewer morning responsibilities at this point in time allows me to dedicate a good amount of time to enjoying the process of getting ready. This is a great time to include your favourite scents and where you can truly appreciate having spent a little more money on that delicious smelling daily face scrub. Not only will this be a reason to smile each day, but it makes your skin happy and healthy!
For this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, how can we expand this conversation to include care and wellness practices for those in our communities who have recently been diagnosed with Cancer or on a journey of recovery. Can this be a part of our dialogues on Self Care not just for October but throughout the year?
I would love to hear your thoughts below…
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