How often have you heard about self-care? Do you know what that really entails? And more importantly, have you been making yourself a priority?
Those were rhetorical questions because I already know the answers. If you’re anything like the majority of women, you’ve no doubt heard all about self-care. But like most self-help, motivation and popular memes, it gets a lot of lip service and not a lot of practice.
As with many other seemingly healthy societal movements, they get hijacked for profit. More consumerism isn’t self-care. Spending more money than you can afford is self-sabotage. But the theme is always to “treat” yourself… because you deserve it. I don’t disagree with the deserving part of it, but rather the means with which you “reward” yourself.
What is your definition of self-care? Is it… eating out, buying new clothes, drinking a fancy coffee, watching Netflix, etc.? Those are okay in moderation, but they should not be considered treating yourself well. Especially if they are regular coping mechanisms to fill the void that exists in a life that is not full of joy and peace and contentment. They are temporary indulgences.
Making yourself a priority is the actual game changer.
Not just checking things off on your self-care list.
So what does making yourself a priority look like?
Well, for starters, it doesn’t cost you money. What it does “cost” is courage.
Ask for what you want
This is self-explanatory but you can check out the blog below.
To people and things that don’t serve your highest self. Are you saying yes out of guilt? Obligation? Out of fear of what others might think if you say no? Are you doing it to fit in or please others? If the answer to any of those is yes, then you’re making others the priority.
To people and things that matter to you and that you are passionate about. Where your attention goes, energy flows. So where and to whom do you want to give your attention? Are they worthy of your life force energy? Energy vampires will drain you if you let them.
In your relationships and your job and anywhere else you don’t stand up for yourself. If you don’t have boundaries, you don’t have self-respect. And what you allow will continue. So draw a line in the sand on what you will and will not tolerate.
Slow down & do less
This is one of those things I have to keep saying until it sinks in. I’m speaking to myself as well. Whatever you currently do in a day, remove a few things. And not the things that actually improve your happiness and quality of life. Get rid of the excess.
Get more sleep
It doesn’t matter if you eat well, exercise, and get rid of all your vices, if you don’t get enough sleep, you will suffer. You need to rest and restore and that only happens during sleep.
Embrace your femininity
Women spend so much time doing, operating from their masculine, and trying to keep up with other women. Discover how and why you want to reconnect with your Divine femininity in the blog below.
Learn to relax
Do you know how much tension you store in your body? Lots.
That stiff neck. The sore feet. That low-level headache. The constant injuries. Much of which is caused or made worse by stress being held in the body. And it will always gravitate to your weakest link.
Getting regular facials and massages is a great way to stop it from building up, but you still need to address the root cause… which is the stress itself. Love yourself enough to do what it takes to reduce stress in your life.
Go within for guidance
If there is one thing everyone should have learned over the past few years is that you don’t look outside of yourself for answers. And you certainly don’t give your power away by deferring to so-called experts and authorities. Taking personal responsibility for your own well-being starts with listening to your intuition, trusting it and then following it.
Focus on intimacy
So many women say that they are lacking intimacy in their relationships, and I believe them. However, it starts with you.
Love and accept yourself
Easier said than done. I get it. But…
“Everything changes when you begin to love yourself. You no longer send out energy of desperation or need to be filled from the outside. You become a powerful source within yourself that attracts better. The more you love who you are, the less you seek validation and approval.” ~ Idil Ahmed
Take care of your sacred body vessel
You only have one body. Treat it with the respect that it deserves.
Boycott the holidays
(see below for why this is going to be my focus)
I could go on and on, but I don’t want this to turn into another TO Do list. Rather, I invite you to look at the above suggestions and go with the one that resonates the most with you.
For instance, I’m going to boycott the holidays. Yes, you heard that correctly. Not forever, but definitely in this now moment. In 2020, I took a break from my business to focus more on self-sustainability. We are living in challenging times and relying on governments to save you is never in your best interest. That’s why I started growing my own food and learning how to preserve food. This is not only good for me and my family, from a health perspective, but it gives me peace of mind.
Having inner peace is true self-care.
But as with anything I do, I go all in. And that meant first building a large raised garden, followed by building a greenhouse, then doubling the size of the garden and then building a fence around it. Don’t even get me started about demon squirrels. And lots more landscaping projects that were large in scope. But I digress…
The moral of the story is that at some point you become overwhelmed.
You have to step back, pat yourself on the back and say, okay, I have accomplished a lot. I can slow down now. I have gained experience and wisdom. It’s all good. And let me tell you, if you don’t slow down, the universe will create ways to make you slow down. Such as getting sick or injuring yourself or worse.
Disease or dis-ease nearly always shows up when we’ve been burning the candle at both ends and stress is your default way of being. Even good things… like gardening… can be stressful when it is too much. Since this is not something that I want to give up, I have to pick something else to remove until I get my energy back. And this means foregoing the decorations, the entertaining and all that indulgent food. This will free up more time for me to relax, get in more joyful movement, read my books and spend more quality time with my family.
When you start making yourself a priority, you will feel better, look better and manifest better.
Then and only then, can you look to doing more of the above suggestions. While I think they are all good suggestions, unless you feel you really need to do all of them, then that’s all the more reason that now is the time to be making yourself a priority.
What is the quote?
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” ~ Old Zen saying
Regardless of what you do or don’t do…
Making yourself a priority is the foundation.
And there is no better time to start than right now!
Photo Credit: Adobestock/Anna Om