But what does that even mean? Up until quite recently pre-COVID19, many of us have been so busy working, looking after children, getting food on the table, paying bills or taking care of elderly parents that self-care seems like a foreign concept.
For me, self care is the act of giving ourselves permission to attend to whatever replenishes our energy, feeds our soul and puts us in a place of receiving that which honours our needs while also letting go of stress and tension and relaxing in a loving and supportive way. I see stress or emotional tension as a red flag that shows me when I have become too tight in my choices and have stepped out of alignment or flow with my truth. And self-care is an opportunity, a moment in which to take a breath, recognise what’s happening, investigate what got me “here” and make a choice to come back into balance and nourish my inner world. By regularly giving attention to that which strengthens my inner resources, I get better at developing a relationship with myself and exploring with the deepest curiosity, that which sustains and feeds me. Instead of looking to others to fill my cup up when it’s empty I begin to restore faith in my abilities to care for myself in a gentle and empowering way.
This will look different for each of us but most importantly is to check in and ask yourself “What do I need to reconnect with my needs in THIS moment?”
For me, that might be going for a walk on the beach or in the forrest, receiving a massage, eating food that makes me smile, picking herbs from the garden and making a tea, swimming, resting, reading a great book in bed or taking a nap.
Self care is different for all of us. But have you stopped to ask yourself what you need RIGHT NOW to fill up your cup? Charity is ours to give only when we have it within ourselves. Otherwise it’s like lending others money when we are broke!
Over-nurturing others before honouring our own needs can lead to adrenal exhaustion, resentment, bitterness and disappointment. In Chinese Medicine nurturing belongs to the Earth element and the organs of the Spleen and Stomach. Digest this for a moment. When we stop relying on others to give us what we need, and drop the expectation that others will return the same care we offer them, we take a step towards self-empowerment. As we begin to chew over what feeds and nourishes us emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually then we begin to activate our own Earth energy that provides us with the qualities of feeling grounded, open and curious to life, stable and comforted.
When we neglect feeding the connection with our inner Earth energy, when we stop tending to our inner landscape, erosion slowly starts to occur and the song lyrics “a land slide brought me down” comes to mind along with feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, unsupported and exhausted (just to name a few!)
On our face over-nurturing others before nurturing our own needs first shows up as fine vertical lines above the top lip, while resentment and bitterness build and show up as fine vertical lines below the bottom lip. But the good news is by learning to stop and ask what we need right now and listening to the answer then making that a priority for yourself and making it happen, even if it means sitting down for 10minutes and enjoying a cup of tea or coffee first, you can give yourself not only some well overdue self-care time but it will also help to erase the lines around your mouth. Self-care and an anti-ageing facial in one has to be a win-win!
Self care starts now 💖
In celebration of loving ourselves more deeply in every moment,