When you hear self-care do you start to feel overwhelmed with how to add that to your long list of activities for everyone else? Here is your minimalist guide to self-care.
According to the American Holistic Nurses Association self-care “focuses on care of self and self-healing which is essential to caring for others. Self-care comprises those activities performed independently by an individual to promote and maintain personal well-being throughout life.”
Self-care is one of the most important activities in order to be able to help and support others. It includes activities to sooth the mind, body and spirit.
Among other things, self-care for the body can be exercise, massage, breathing, conscious eating or yoga. Self-care for the mind includes meditation, being present in the moment, laughter and quiet contemplation. Self-care for the spirit embraces meditation, prayer, reading that feeds you spiritually, and acts of compassion toward others.
If you want to practice self-care here are three activities that you could try from "The Art of Extreme Self-Care," by Cheryl Richardson.
1. Check in with yourself to see where you feel deprived.
Look at all of the areas of your life where you feel like you do not have “enough” in your life. Starting with your deprivation allows you to see where you can add to your life to make it seem fuller.
Richardson has a few key questions to help you identify where you are feeling deprived:
• “Where do I feel deprived?
• “What do I need more of right now?
• “What do I need less of?
• “What do I want right now?
• “What am I yearning for?
• “Who or what is causing me to feel resentful and why?
• “What am I starving for?”
The more specific you can be with your answers, the better you will be able to create activities to fill that need.
2. Tune in to your own rhythm or routines.
Our body loves rhythm. We have rhythms that determine when we release our hormones for sleeping and waking cycles, circadian rhythm. We have rhythms for our female cycles.
Choosing a rhythm for self-care is important as well.
Consider rhythm when you create sleep time, or exercise routine, or play time with your friends or family.
How can you decide which routine to choose? Choose one that will be the more transformative to your life and practice it for 30 days so it will become a new habit.
3. Make your own "absolute NO" list.
This list is exactly as it sounds -- the things on this list you will no longer do. This is the list where you put things you will no longer tolerate in your life. This list needs to include things you have control over.
Creating the NO list helps to provide a safe environment in your life. When you give up things that frustrate or upset you there is space for more joy, peace and fun. Once you've created the list, post it where you can see it to remind you to keep those activities out of your life.
Working on any of the activities above can be transformative for your stress level and your health.