Identifying Self-Care Needs – what does it mean to you?

Self-care is a phrase that’s thrown around a lot, but have you ever really thought about what it means to you?
I had vague notions of it before, but when I actually needed to enact it for the sake of my own health and wellbeing I had to look really closely at what it means for me.

These are some of my interpretations of self-care; something that:

  • you can rely on when all else falls away.
  • nourishes your mind, body and soul.
  • keeps you grounded and centered.
  • soothes and nurtures.
  • makes you feel safe and protected.
  • reminds you of what is truly important to you.
  • reminds you of what you love.
  • reminds you of the good in your life.
  • reminds you of the beauty of the world around you.
  • warms the heart.
  • makes you smile.
  • makes you feel happy.
  • makes you feel good, and isn’t just a quick-fix.
  • is positive and uplifting.
  • reminds you of how important caring for yourself and your body is.
  • reminds you of the importance of taking some time for yourself.
  • keeps you going when times are difficult.
  • holds you steady.
  • helps you build back up again.

There are different levels of self-care too. It could be a once-a-day time for yourself, once a week or once a month. It could be your way to de-stress and get away for a while to recharge. It could be your way to take time off to recover after illness, loss, difficulties or change. It could be that you have nothing left in the tank and self-care in the only way for you to heal and move forward. It could be taking time to re-assess your life and working out what the future holds, or facing and healing old wounds.

There are so many ways and types of self-care, and all of them are equally important in their own way. The main thing is to actually take the time to enact self-care. Don’t keep putting it off because it seems selfish or inconvenient. Don’t let things build up until self-care becomes the only way forward. Because if self-care is needed and you put it off life may well find a way of making it your priority.

Be kind to yourself. Enact self-care on a regular basis, and try to recognise when you’re getting stressed. If you’re having problems processing your own ‘stuff’, let alone other peoples’ then please take some time out.
By looking at what self-care means for you, and identifying the actions and things you associate with it, you have a ready-made action plan. When you need to take some time out, or when circumstances dictate your need for self-care you’ll be prepared. You won’t feel so lost and have to waste precious energy working it out because you’ve already thought it through. No need to stress, you can just put your self-care protocols into action and concentrate on your healing process.

In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing ways that have helped/ are helping me identify my own self-care needs, and providing suggestions to help you identify your own.

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