Let me remind you…The ABCs of Self-Care
You have probably heard the term Self-Care a lot these days. On the surface it is sort of easy to understand. Yet it is just as easy to dismiss its importance. There are real demands on our time and energy that keep pushing self-care to the bottom of our “to do” list.
Further the mis-read is that self-care is selfish and really about indulgence at the expense of the important stuff that must get done.
Let me remind you that nothing could be further from the truth. Your self-care is a necessity, and it need not take up a lot of space, energy or thought. It is as simple as ABC! Awareness, Balance and Connection.
Awareness is knowing what needs your attention on any given day. It is the diagnostic that informs you about how you are feeling. It requires you to check in with your-self and listen for the message that comes from your body. The message may be “I’m tired” (what does tired feel like in your body?) or “I need a break” (What does needing a break feel like in your body?) or “I’m overwhelmed.” (What does overwhelmed feel like in your body) These are not just cognitive concepts, they feel like something that informs you about the necessary adjustment. Being aware determines the best corrective action. Will you schedule time throughout the day to do a diagnostic, so you know when your “check engine” light is on?
You have two invaluable resources; time and energy. Energy is renewable but of course, time is not. How you spend these resources matters a lot. Generally, resources are spent in in four categories: Family, Self, Work/School and Community. If your resources equal 100%, how are you dividing them up between the four segments? Are the percentages equitable or manageable? Using your numbers, a pie chart for the visual of how you are spending your resources. While perfect balance may be difficult to achieve, better balance is possible. Like James Clear says in his book “Atomic Habits,” small changes yield big results. How can you nourish the segment that is hungry for your attention?
We need connections. Humans are pack animals. We do much better, feel safer and are more capable with strong connections. Lots of things separate us from our pack. Things like busy schedules, obligations, and a PANDEMIC to name a few. These interruptions have kept everyone from the healthy connections that allow energy to mix and mingle in beneficial ways. Being physically apart to maintain health has been a real demand but that has come with a cost to our emotional and spiritual health. It has been hard to connect with friends and even harder to be a good friend to ourselves. How could you be a better friend to yourself?
Let me remind you that self-care is not a big vacation or even a day at the spa. Rather, it is a flowing process of creating awareness, establishing balance, and connecting to self with kindness.
So, ask yourself these three questions:
- How can I be AWARE that my check engine light is on and what will a do about it?
- What do I need to do to achieve better BALANCE in my life?
- What can I do to be a more CONNECTED friend to myself?