But I can’t think of a better way to describe what I do:
Helping people take better care of themselves both physically and mentally and to connect with their Selves – that Higher Self / Atma / True Self / Wild Self
After all, we’re all different.
As I emphasised in the introduction to 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing (White Owl, 2017) not everything appeals to everyone.
Also, you already have a whole host of self care ideas that have worked for you in the past and will again but which wouldn’t necessarily work for me.
Self care is tricky in that even taking into account our being different, our OWN self care practices vary in effectiveness.
Our energy levels ebb and flow, lifestyles change…
With lockdown meaning that, apart from people losing loved ones, all of us have lost many of the things that used to help us enjoy day to day life.
While it’s wonderful to make the most of this time when it’s possible for us to do so, it’s far from a holiday – living with the worry of being infected / infecting others with something we can’t see or feel means all we can do is stay home as much as possible and look after ourselves as best as we can.
By getting to know ourselves better, though, no matter WHAT is going on, we can reconnect with that wise part of ourselves that’s already whole.
That’s so much more than whatever we’ve survived or are going through.
That KNOWS what we need most in any given moment (even though knowing and feeling able to assert some of these needs can be another challenge).
We can put daily practices in place but if we don’t allow ourselves some flexibility, self care becomes yet another stick to beat ourselves up with.
But they look very different depending on my energy levels, schedule, mood, what I feel I need, how I may need to adapt if in pain and more.
Some mornings, I do a full yoga practice. It feels yummy and delicious and sets me up for the whole day.
I feel strong, empowered, flexible, resilient and even (sometimes) invincible.
Other mornings, it’s much shakier. Even simple poses feel too much (in terms of having the focus to co-ordinate each movement with the breath).
Luckily, I’ve learned that these mornings mean I need to slow down.
That my practice is as – if not more – important the times my ego is telling me it’s too hard / not worth it etc etc.
By putting that extra focus into movement and breath, I always feel at least a little better.
Other mornings, it might simply be a matter of rolling my mat out and resting in Child pose.
Or even standing in Mountain or Tree.
As long as I do SOME yoga each day, I’m keeping my word to myself.
I’m connecting with my whole self and getting a sense of what is going to be most beneficial in terms of what I can adapt in my schedule day to day.
It’s the same with the daily EFT. Sometimes, journalling beforehand helps me go DEEP and work with loads.
Most of the time, it’s just one or two rounds of whatever pops into my head.
Sometimes, it’s simply this gorgeously quick and easy Triple Warmer practice
Either way, I’ve learned to not beat myself up about it.
As long as I’m doing SOMETHING, I’m keeping that committment to myself.
Each morning, I do SOME meditation. I always do some Metta for the day’s clients, supervisees and, most mornings some energy clearing for myself and for all the spaces I’ll be working in (at the moment, that’s just home, obviously).
I also always ask for guidance because nothing helps me exhale more (apart from being underwater and that’s not an option at the moment) than reminding myself that it’s not all down to me.
I can remind myself that Nature (God/dess / the Universe / Allah / whoever or whatever you believe in) knows what it’s doing even when I can’t see or even feel it.
I (obviously) don’t KNOW what’s out there but I do know that believing in a universal force for healing makes me happier and more resourceful than the times when I’ve shut myself off from it.
Being in such a beautiful part of the world helps me connect with that wonder and awe (LAMBS! The trees! The MOUNTAIN – am very in touch with my inner toddler at the moment) and I see it with people all over growing things from seed.
Ultimately, it’s up to YOU.
YOU know yourself best.
Because self care is simply a series of practices which, in taking the time and energy to DO are a commitment to helping ourselves feel better every day.
Of course there are days when we don’t feel worthy (even if consciously, we’re telling ourselves, it’s not worth it, we don’t have time, it’s not working etc etc).
That we’re too much and/or not enough.
But by choosing things that HAVE worked for you and adapting them accordingly depending on life’s variables, you have those supports which you can then use your own discernment around.
My examples of yoga, meditation and EFT might be helpful for you (and you’ll find additional free Covid Self Care resources HERE) but you might prefer running, eating salad or something that feels as alien to me as meditation might to you.
What HAS worked for you?
I’d love to hear what your number one self care resource is and how it feels when you make time for yourself and how it feels when you don’t.
You can get in touch HERE