Over the past couple months, in September and early October, I was writing a lot about loving yourself and what that looks like.
With the holidays fast approaching I decided it's probably a good time for us to now shift and speak about self-care. What is it? What does it look like? And why do we care?
Self care is the act of caring for ourselves, taking care of our own needs, and prioritizing ourselves. I often teach people self-care is something that we do for the well-being not only of ourselves, we do it for the well-being of those around us.
Self-care is one of those things, similar to self love, where we have to be able to pour from a full cup. If our cup is empty, we have nothing to give others. So when we take care of our own needs first, we get to fill our own cup first, and once our cup is so full it's overflowing that's what we get to share with others.
The problem many of us face is, most of us have been taught to believe taking care of ourselves first and foremost is a selfish thing for us to do. I have found one of my primary purposes for being here is to help people unlearn the myth which states, "it's selfish to take care of ourselves first." As I said above, we really don't have anything to give to others if we haven't been taking care of ourselves.
I invite you to think about it: think of the last time you felt completely depleted, hadn't been taking care of your own needs, and someone asked a simple request of you. I imagine you probably responded in a way that felt either snappy, or somehow otherwise uncharacteristic of you. The person making the simple request, whether it have been your child, a friend, or another loved one, might look at you with surprise and want to back away as though they had just been attacked. Similarly you might have found yourself thinking, "oh my gosh where did that even come from?"
If that sounds familiar, then you might know what I'm talking about. It's that feeling of having absolutely nothing to give to anyone else, and then responding from a place of depletion, which then turns around and hurts others as well as yourself. And nobody wants to feel that way.
I have a feeling most of us would much rather come from a place of love, kindness, care, and compassion in our interactions with others. Rather than having someone look at you as if they just got in the way of a surprise attack, I imagine you would prefer to have someone look at you with the same love, kindness, care, and compassion you are bringing to them. When we operate from this place, we get to perpetuate love and kindness in the world, rather than depletion, attacks, and fear.
And with the holidays coming up, which can be a pretty stressful time for people, I have a feeling we could all use as much love and kindness in the world as we can. So, stay tuned for the next installment!