Today’s blog is all about taking care of yourself. I hear excuses all the time, including my own, like: i’m too tired, there just isn’t enough time, I don’t really know what self-care is…and isn’t self-care selfish?
If you never take your car to the gas station, what happens? You run out of gas. Most of us are so focused on everything else we have going on that we end up having to metaphorically push the car and its empty tank past the gas station.
How many of you can relate? You get out, push the car and just keep going? We don’t realize that if we just stop and fill up, we can actually go further. The more we try and keep pushing the car, the worse it gets.
Self-care is not selfish.
We actually need self-care to survive. Self-care doesn’t have to be spending a whole day at the spa or a long trip away; self-care can be about the small things we can do everyday to re-energize and refuel ourselves.
So why is self-care so important?
Self-care is important because we are busy people these days and we are super stressed. We need to find small ways to cope with our stress and self-care allows us to do that.
When we participate in self-care we can be more fully present—in our relationships and at work—and we can better cope with stress or crisis. I know that self-care doesn’t take all stress away, but it does help us tremendously.
Feeling refueled, re-energized and better able to cope helps you:
- Connect more with your partner because connecting comes more naturally.
- Exercise patience with your children, and be open to laughing more with them.
- Be more productive at work because you are not exhausted or preoccupied.
Taking care of ourselves helps us set better boundaries.
Boundaries help us establish what is and isn’t ok for us. Boundaries also allows us to be more compassionate to others.
Having boundaries in place frees us up to be more compassionate because we are able to walk into situations with more clarity, and without the feeling that we are being taken advantage of. Without boundaries, and without making ourselves a priority, we compromise our time, our energy and sometimes even our self-worth.
Making ourselves a priority is an act of self-love.
The Positive Power of Self-Care in Relationships
In relationships, we need to find the balance of independence and togetherness. Every couple is different when it comes to determining their ideal ratio.
The independence in the relationship helps you refuel and reenergize, and it also helps with cultivating intimacy and sexual attraction. Famous couples therapist, Esther Perel, discusses the importance of separateness and connectedness. Time apart helps bring couples together and it creates desire.
Self-care helps us feel more alive; we get excited and it helps us reconnect to our individual selves. Sometimes we get so caught up in our partner, our kids or our job we lose a part of ourselves.
Self-care helps us connect to ourselves again, which nurtures desire in our relationships.
Self-care helps create desire in our relationships because when we feel a connection to self, we feel stronger, more confident and sexier—and our partner is turned on by our confidence. Our partner responds to our confidence and in turn we respond to theirs, if they too are participating in self-care.
When we take care of ourselves, we are also taking care of the relationship. We are able to come back to the relationship not only more confident but also with a stronger desire to connect to our partner.
Some Helpful Examples of Self-Care:
So what are some examples of self-care? We’re talking so much more than just getting a manicure and pedicure, not that those aren’t important if you enjoy them.
I recently co-hosted a seminar for woman on how to create a joyful heart. Our attendees came up with an incredible list when asked what they do for self-care. Their list is so good I took a photo of it and set it as the featured image of this blog.
In addition to meditation, exercise, nutrition, dancing, listening to music, massage and naps, their list included:
- Keeping a gratitude journal
- Saying positive affirmations before they go to bed at night
- Reconnecting or remembering their strengths
- Saying the mantra “I am enough,”
- Connecting with friends
I would also add keeping a journal, watching a sunset, joining a club or participating in your favorite hobby, and even just taking deep breaths in the morning right as you wake up.
As I said before, your self-care regimen doesn’t have to be based on big experiences; small doses of self-care are good as long as you know you are doing something for yourself.
Remember what I said earlier about taking your car to the gas station? Just think, there is an endless supply of gas stations all around us. Even if we just fill up one gallon, or a couple, that mini-refuel can still take us further than no gas (i.e. when we have get out and push our car!)
Finding small and big ways to take care of yourself is just so important.
Take some time and make a list of your own ideas for self-care, and start today. Even after you read this blog, stop for a moment, take a deep breath and set an intention to doing something for yourself this week.
Enjoy this time of self-care and all the good it brings into your life, including a stronger connection between you and your loved ones.