We hear all about self-care, but too often it’s misconstrued with pampering. Pampering can be self-care, but it is not always.
For example, my husband hates massages because he cannot stand when people touch him. Personally, I do not like the smell of a nail salon, it gives me a headache.
Self-care comes in the form of prioritizing the things that can restore your energy, which looks different for every person. For an introvert, this may look like time alone. For an extrovert, like myself, self-care involves prioritizing time with my friends and community groups.
There was a period in my early motherhood where I thought being a great mom meant focusing only on my business and my family. I resigned from different positions I held and scaled back on all the “extras” in my life so that I could give all my energy where it mattered most.
In retrospect, this was a terrible decision. My husband says it was the hardest period in our 16 year relationship to be married to me.
After about two years of this lifestyle, a friend invited me to attend a community group. I had an amazing time, started plugging in and began meeting new, like-minded people. It was like I came back to life.
I felt re-energized, excited and more myself than I had in years.
So over the next year, I looked for areas of interest in my community where I could plug in and start using my strengths to give and contribute. I felt whole again.
For some people, this would be the opposite of self-care. They are already giving and doing so much that self-care may look like staying home. Or it may look like pouring your energy into an idea you have been wanting to birth. Maybe self-care is learning to say no to spending time with the people who are leaving you feeling drained, and instead finding ways to spend more time around the people who bring you joy.
Don’t get me wrong, my self-care still involves at least a weekly long bath because I love them. I block time for my exercise, taking care of my aesthetic appearance (this could be an entire blog post for another day of what this means to me), and having quiet time at home with my thoughts and my rituals.
To be honest, self-care has really found its way into every single area of my life and dominates my day.
I like to think of self-care as the difference between a colander and a bowl.
If the kitchen sink is running water, a colander is when my self-care is empty and drained. No matter how much I take in, too much is going out. A bowl is where as the self-care comes in, I am able to hold onto so much of it that not only do I feel full, but I am giving in abundance. The sides of the bowl are running over.
When most of my life revolves around the things that give me energy instead of exhaust me, and I am making sure that I feel well-loved and cared for by my own actions, then I have so, so, so much energy to share.
Take care of yourself today friends. Be a bowl.