Self care is a foreign concept to most of us. It certainly was to me until about 3 years ago. To most people the word self care becomes synonymous with selfish. The thought of caring for ourselves first, of putting ourselves first, may simply seem like an unrealistic luxury and selfish fantasy. I used to think that way, but today, I disagree entirely.
So, what is self care then if its not the selfish idea that I once thought? To me, self care is the decision and commitment to nurture, care for, and love myself to the same level, or more, than I would with someone else. That's right! I said it! So why is this such a thing of guilt and shame? It make sense that in order to have love to give that we must also receive it. Why does someone else have to be the one doing the giving?
What helped me to realize that I could give love and kindness to myself, is that I could be THE BEST PERSON IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD TO DO SO! No one knows me better than me. No one knows the things that I like the most or the things that I dislike. One person's version of relaxing, loving, and nurturing may be completely different than mine.
It is my belief that self care comes down to a choice of empowerment. There are things that can keep my personal power intact, or there are choices that I make that can give that personal power away. Making self care a priority in my life has allowed me to be able to give more to my fiancé, more to my clients, and more to everyone else that is in my life. Wait, hold the phone! Did you just say that putting your self care first has allowed you to give more to everyone else? Yes... I sure did. That's the truth behind self care. It stretches and grows our natural capacity. No one believes me until I suggest this exercise to them in their coaching sessions. The client then goes out into the world and practices a small amount of self care, perhaps just even an hours worth and calls or texts me afterwards with elated happiness! One hour and joy and love is overflowing!
Here are some of my personal favorite self care exercises to get you started:
Read a fun book for an hour straight with cell phone off
Watch Netflix with no one home wearing my PJs and eating ice cream
Going for a hike alone
Bringing my laptop into nature and writing
Getting a pedicure
Getting a massage
Keeping healthy boundaries with myself and others
Snuggling with my fiancé and doggie and watching a movie
Sitting in pure silence bymyself out in my back yard
Listening to Music
Knowing when to say No
Dancing because I can't help myself once I hear the music
Not over booking myself
Getting enough sleep each night
Doing things because I want to and not out of obligation
Spending the entire day in my PJs because I can (yes I love PJs)
Taking an entire day away from my cell phone and email
Having a picnic
Cooking a healthy and yummy meal for me
Self care can come in many shapes and sizes and there is no wrong way to self care, just go out there and do it! Today however, I did some really special self care and headed to the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain for a spa day with one of my dear friends Marie. Now, before you all think that self care is expensive, you should know that I'm the QUEEN of finding a good deal and keeping my self care options either free, or very affordable. I bet most of you didn't know that $50 gets you into the Ritz-Carlton Spa for the entire day if you're a local Tucsonian. That means that for the entire day, I can sit by the pool, go for a swim, take a steam or sauna to sweat it out, sit naked in a hot tub (yup I'd rather be naked while swimming), lounge in their relaxation room, possibly take a nap, sip on gemstone-infused spa water and eat healthy snacks. Sit quietly and look at the beautiful mountains that surround me. Enjoy some hot tea, take a shower, and basically repeat and do whatever I want for the entire day. That's pretty awesome for $50 right? Right, but is that truly the best deal? The cheapest spa service they offer is a manicure for $40.00. Now, that is a LOT for a manicure but here is the catch. If you buy at least one spa treatment, any one of your choice, you can then use the spa for the entire day! Hahaha! Now I get a treatment and spend less than what I would have to simply come and enjoy! Self care is an adventure of joy and love, creativity and self discovery, and empowerment. What have you done for self care lately? What needs to change so that you're incorporating more self care into your life?
How different would life look if you took really good care of you?
Tabitha :) xoxo
Tabitha enjoys living in Tucson, Arizona with her husband Jared, and her adorable doggies Shadow & Scooby. Stay tuned for Tabitha's upcoming book Serendipity in which she takes us through her time in Africa.