When you hear the words “self-care”, what do you think of?
Massages? Long soaks in the tub? Yoga? A weekend at a spa?
Sign me up! All of these are great and I am a big fan of all forms of physical nurturing and pampering. It is so important to care for our bodies, the temples of our souls. So, if you are doing these, fantastic! Please continue, and bring your friends (and me!).
There is also the mind-body-soul notion of self-care: doing something to nourish each part of you, which I am a big fan of, too. It’s important to balance yourself and to notice and care for each part of your being.
The point is, self-care can mean different things to different people. It’s about taking action that makes you feel whole and centered.
The essence of taking care of yourself is this:
Self-care is about living in integrity with yourself.
In recent years, I have discovered that self-care extends to how we handle ourselves emotionally. This hadn’t occurred to me before and it was surprising for me to suddenly realize that these are forms of self-care, too. Here are three things you can do to take care of yourself that you may not have put in the “self-care’ category before:
- Honoring Sacred Alone Time. Spending time in stillness, or in reflection is nurturing for your relationship with yourself. Set aside sacred time to go inward, to assess, reflect, release, celebrate, and connect with yourself. You do so much for others all day long. Do you allow yourself the same attention? Giving yourself this time with yourself allows you to deeply connect with your needs. Knowing what you need helps you take action with the intention of living in integrity with yourself.
- Setting Boundaries. This is a big one, a huge part of living in integrity with ourselves that we may not even recognize as self-care. Say “no” when you mean it and “yes” when you mean it. It will make interacting with life more delicious! No one will know where your boundaries are unless you speak up for yourself and let people know. This is your job, not theirs (theirs is to share their boundaries and needs). And you can do it with love, for both yourself, and for the other person. Because when you allow your boundaries to be repeatedly stepped on, you begin to feel resentment, right? And this negatively impacts your relationships. Keep your relationships clean and clear by knowing where your boundaries are – and sticking with them. If you don’t know what they are, you can reflect on them during Sacred Alone Time 🙂
- Saying “YES!” to What Lights You Up. When you live your life on purpose, you feel alive! Live your life connected to your life purpose, connected to your inner truth. Do the activities that light you up, surround yourself with people who light you up, live in a place that lights you up. What better way to take care of yourself then by taking action in line with your own values? When you say yes to what lights you up, you are sending yourself the greatest message of love: You are enough and you are worth it.
P.S. This photo was taken in the midst of following my spirit and lighting myself up – by taking a spontaneous road trip to Santa Barbara! Don’t you just love the hat?
Whatever form of self-care works for you, do it! Try one or all of the above if they resonate with you. More tools for your soul’s evolution toolbox. Maybe you are already doing these with wild abandon. If so, excellent.
To live a good life, you must learn to take care of yourself and to make self-care a priority. Living in integrity is being true to who you are.
And being true to who you are is the greatest form of self-care.
Do you agree? Please share your thoughts below.
Until next time!
With love and light,
Nicole Justine Cavanaugh