What is self-care?By Linda Emslie on 18 January 2017
I set my theme this year as the year of extreme self-care. And then thought to myself, “Hang-on, what’s going to make this year different to all the rest?”
You see, I already take pretty good care of myself, but if this is the year of extreme self-care, then obviously a part of me is saying I need to ramp it up. That led me to ask, well, what is self-care?
The answer may surprise you.
Hands up if you do all or some of the following: yoga, get regular aerobic exercise, watch what you eat, meditate regularly or semi-regularly, have good sleep habits and factor some fun into your life. Congrats, you have made a great start on looking after Self.
But, I invite you to go deeper. You are taking good care of your superficial self, but if you want to get serious about eliminating stress, pain, anxiety and ordinary health, then it’s time to discover your true Self and honour the light you bring to the world.
To do this, you need to go beyond adding in a routine, or tweaking a few of the lifestyle things you’ve got going on. The first thing to do is to shift your perspective.
You may be familiar with that life balance exercise where you measure out your life as a pie chart, allocating chunks to work, family, community, sleep, hobbies, and so on. Well, the extreme self-care view asks you to take that pie chart and draw a big circle in the middle and label it “me”. Then divvy up the outside bits in whatever ways you’d best like to allocate your attention.
Extreme self-care means putting yourself at the centre of your world, rather than squeezing in some “me time” between everything else that demands your attention.
So that’s the easy bit. Once you’ve made that shift in perception, you’re ready to get into some extreme self-care. To do this, you need to work towards mastery in the following areas.
- Put yourself first, otherwise known as boundary setting.
In this year of extreme self-care your challenge is to become steadfast in setting clear boundaries. This sounds easier to do than it actually is. To be clear, you will need to be completely honest with yourself and have the courage to support yourself when you have identified a no-go area. Stay true to Self and maintain your boundaries with good grace.
- Come in to relationship with your body.
The need to do this two-fold. Your body literally embodies your purpose. It is the specialised container that serves your Soul’s purpose and was created specifically to support your work. To fulfil your purpose you need to be connected to your body, because this is what plugs the essence of you into the overall web of connectedness in our world. Our bodies are our connection tools. It’s time to remember that and get into a deeply loving and honouring relationship with your own body.
- Become energetically aligned.What do you love to do? How does doing what you love to do change the people you do it for, or the world around you? Answering these two questions puts you on the path to energetic alignment. They dive to the heart of why you are here. Using these heart-based questions to direct your course through life aligns your Soul, mind, emotions and body. Being energetically aligned is good for you, good for humanity and above all else, good for the planet.
The odds are that you are already doing activities that will ultimately take you on a journey through the areas above. All you need to do, really, is get out of the routine of doing them routinely. Dive deeper and explore. Find the real reason why it is imperative to be doing them. Ordinary, everyday good health and self-care are good things, and need to be a part of your world.
Extreme self-care that connects you with your centre is vital.