Every two or three weeks I treat myself with a manicure. It’s my time to admire and choose a pretty color and to chat with one of my favorite people. Yes, of course, my manicurist is totally WooWoo. We chat about tarot and oracle decks, witchy things, mediumship, and all kinds of metaphysics. There’s a time I would have considered this to be self-care.
Then I started doing the real self-care that I needed. My version of real self-care may be different than yours but, I’m sure there are plenty of places that they’re the same. Here are the six things that if I’m not doing them, I find I’m not growing. I keep these things in constant rotation to keep me moving forward and for my best possible self to be on the surface always.
I’ve been meditating since high school. Like most everything else in my life, it often comes in waves of doing and not doing. When I’m doing my meditation practice, I’m zen all the time. It takes a lot to upset me or make me angry in general. However, when I’m meditating every day, I never get aggravated. Nothing bothers me at all. For my own peace of mind, I meditate.
We need to keep our bodies in motion. It’s way beyond weight control. It’s about how much better exercise makes our bodies feel. Our bodies have a way of keeping us limber and flexible but if we don’t do the work to help that long, we get tight and stiff. And that crosses over directly to our emotional wellbeing.
3)Conversations with true friends.
A true friend will help you with anything. They want to hear what’s on your mind and what you’ve been up to. They want to share in your joy. They want what is best for you. They want to celebrate you. A true friend will call you out on your shit. They will be honest with you when no one else can. They’ll let you know when you’re being unreasonable. They’ll help you to see the other side of things. We need these people in our lives more than anything. If you don’t have these people in your life, fix that!
We all need this. It helps us to hear our own thoughts and yes, even talk to ourselves. Sometimes the sound of our voice can tell us so much more than our words do. We hear the tone of the words coming out of our mouths and that alone will tell us so much about how we’re really feeling inside. Recognize how often the same thought is in your mind, then do something about changing that process. Get to know yourself better by spending serious time with yourself, alone.
Learning to like ourselves, just as we are, begins here.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re uncomfortable? Whether it’s mentally, emotionally, or physically, too often the first thing we do is stop taking full breaths. When we’re scared or frightened, our shoulders go up towards our ears. These are just two things that let us know that we’re not fully in our bodies. That’s life, it happens. We’re human and that’s what we do. So what do we do next? One of two things, we stay where we are, out of our bodies, or we ground ourselves and get back into our bodies.
Here’s the thing, we function much better when we’re in our bodies! We get stuff done. We can concentrate better, we have meaningful conversations, we get our work done, we think about eating good food, we’re fully present and ready for the next thing that life throws at us.
There are so many ways to get grounded. The easiest way to take three full deep breaths. Exhaling all the way down into the earth can do the trick. Other times, you may find that a full day of gardening is the key for you. Find your best way and do it often.
6)Shadow Work YES, this is self-care! This one isn’t easy. It’s one of the hardest things you’ll do in life. The key to shadow work is to do it all the way. So many people get into it and get frightened of old memories or something else that comes up that they just don’t want to look at. It’s okay, you can do it! It’s hard but it’s so rewarding. I promise it’s the best thing any human can do for themselves and those around them. I hope this short list helps you to find some peace. Do one or do them all. Maybe you start with one and work up to the harder ones. Please know that I’m here to help you to do any of these things. I’m pretty good at them because I’ve had lots of practice with them. Even the ones I don’t like. I Wish You Light ~Andrea