What is self-care and why do you need it?
By self-care, I mean purposely and actively taking time for yourself to do something that rejuvenates and energises you. Self-care is not an indulgence, it’s central to your wellbeing. I want to invite you to think about self-care differently and make it a priority in your life.
Many women live very full lives with competing demands and this is why it’s so important to have a good self-care plan. For most women there are always demands on our time, energy, and emotions. This is precisely why self-care is so important because it means you can meet these demands and not become overwhelmed, resentful or burnt out. Basically, it is the routine maintenance you need to function at your best not only for others, but also for yourself.
The most basic definition of self-care is any intentional action taken to meet an individual’s physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional needs. In short, it’s all the little ways we take care of ourselves to avoid a breakdown in those respective areas of health. The health of your body, mind, and spirit are essential to protecting your wellbeing, and can ensure your long-term health.
Self-Care has many wonderful benefits such as
- Feeling happy, calm and peaceful
- High self-esteem and confidence
- Feeling enthusiastic about life
- Feeling energised
- Positive outlook on life
Whereas when you are lacking in self-care your body will tell you, it’s a wonderful compass to guide you in life. Here’s some signs that you might be needing some self-care
- Feeling low in energy
- Emotional (e.g. short tempered, crying easily).
- Scattered thinking
- Lack of motivation
- No passion for life
Developing Your Self-Care Plan
Self-care plans are tailor made, there is no one size fits all, but there are guidelines and common threads to all self-care plans. It means making a commitment to attend to all the domains of your life, your physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs.
To develop your self-care plan, you will identify your needs as part of your day-to-day life and then create strategies and activities that you will use to help you meet these needs every day.
Self-care doesn’t need to be complicated or cost a lot of money… or even any money. For example one simple thing I do every day and find highly nourishing is a little bit of pottering time. Just a short while to potter around at home and organise a few bits and bobs does wonders for me.
At One of many™ we work with 5 Women’s PowerTypes™, The Lover, The Mother, The Queen, The Warrioress and The Sorceress. These 5 PowerTypes offer you the capability to be not only strong and effective, but true to the softer aspects of your nature as a woman. This is what we mean by being in your Soft Power. And the key to really consistently being in your Soft Power is to make sure your needs are met. This is why self-care truly is the most important thing you can do. It’s essential to put yourself first. A bit like the oxygen analogy on a plane, if you are depleted you cannot really help anyone else.
What are needs?
Needs are those things without which you feel a bit off, grumpy or actually unhealthy or poorly. These are needs, as opposed to “wants” which are those things which make us happy but without which we’re still just fine (provided our basic needs are met). Chocolate could well be a “want” but is very unlikely to be a “need”.
For some people massage is a need. For some it is a want. Only you know the truth for you. Where your needs are not met, you’re not OK. When they are met you’re just OK.
All of us share basic human needs e.g.
There are certain needs that help you to nourish your Soft Power
- Retreat time
- Goddess cards
Creating your self-care plan
- Brainstorm basic needs: these are things like sleep, water, exercise or body movement, food, etc.
- Define what each need being met looks like. For instance, sleep – what does this look like. Is it “in bed” or “lying in bed, lights off, eyes closed?” Drink – is it “any beverage” or is it “water only” or “at least 50% filtered water.”
- Use instinct or kinesiology to work out how much and how often you need each need. Remember there’s no such thing as “right”, only right for you. This is about having your BASIC NEEDS MET. Not being selfish, or demanding. These are things without which you are not well. Getting these in place helps your whole family. Not just you!
- Brainstorm how you will meet your needs every day.
- Make a plan of daily self-care activities.
- Make a commitment to yourself and your plan.
- Share your plan. Place your plan somewhere that you and your family can see it! Or invite one of your girl friends to support you with your plan.
7 ½ . Follow your plan. (Easy to intend but easy to forget, so don’t do this one with half measures!).
There is great power in the simple things isn’t there. Like how nourishing a little bit of pottering time is. Another one of my favourites is to go for a walk in the woods, this nourishes me on many levels.
I’d love to hear what you’re going to do to nourish yourself. Share some of the ways you are going to meet your needs in the comments below.
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When we’re making changes in our lives we believe it’s just a little more of this, a little less of that. Check out the rituals that have been collated from our wonderfully engaged community of women, over many years. They are our top little sanity savers that help us find moments of calm in a life of ‘way too much to do’.