One of the topics I talk a lot about is the need for self-care. Yes, I said NEED! But... Why is self-care a need? What exactly does it entail? How do I possibly fit it into my crazy schedule?!?
Self-care is simply a means of mindfully engaging in activities that build up one's stores of energy and improve one's mind, body, spirit connection. I know some of you are thinking: sounds selfish to me! Well, that really depends on the intention. If the intention of taking care of oneself is just to take care of oneself, that is selfish. If one is attempting to care for others, and is taking time to rejuvenate in order to further that cause, it is far from selfish, and is actually necessary.
But my life is chaos! I'm sure it is. I'm also sure that life will almost always, in some manner or another, be chaotic. You have a choice: surrender to the chaos or embrace the self-care. If you live in constant chaos, you will likely experience mental and physical health problems along with it. And these problems breed further chaos! If you engage in self-care instead, you may be much happier for it.
So what does self-care entail? It's any behavior that furthers your health. You may enjoy meditation or yoga, a walk in the park or a bubble bath. Or all of the above. To me, self-care includes eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, prayer and meditation, and keeping my home as clean as possible. This doesn't mean you can never have your favorite hamburger or that you have to do that exercise you hate. Make the burger a way to treat yourself; and if you don't like running, you can always walk...or dance! Prayer and meditation often help to calm the mind and focus one's energies on what is important; what is needed, rather than wanted. Sleeping enough hours per night means that the body is rested and ready to work the next morning. And keeping the home clean helps in a number of ways, but it especially means that there is less of a focus on having to clean up than on handling other chores. For me, that means less anxiety about my to-do list. You can do all or some of the above. Bottom line: it's about what works to replenish your personal stores of energy.
But my crazy schedule! I get it. We all have things to do, appointments to keep. There are meditation videos and audio clips available that last no more than 5 minutes. You can set a timer every 55 minutes and walk, drink some water or do some other health-related activity during the last five minutes of the hour. Clean a little at a time during commercials or pause that Netflix show you're binge-watching on your only truly free Saturday of the month. What's most important is that you make it work for you.
Let's try to commit ourselves to self-care, for our own health and the health of those directly and indirectly affected by us.