on self-care

I used to put a TON of pressure on myself around self-care practices.  It would go something like this: ‘ok, so tomorrow I am going to wake up at 5am, do yoga for an hour followed by a half hour of meditation,

and I’m not going to eat any dairy or sugar ever again, (insert 10 more lofty goals here)’… then of course the next day would come and I’d wake up at 8am and have French toast and a giant cup of coffee for breakfast, and feel like a huge failure.  Wait… how is beating myself up self-care?  IT’S NOT.

We get bombarded with instructions on how to live our most ideal life, and social media is flooded with articles on the top 10 best self-care practices, and wellness gurus who hold the key to our health and happiness show us their shiniest most curated selves, setting impossible standards.  But the only person who knows what you need is you, and the best self-care practice for you on any given day, in any given moment, may change drastically – the key is to listen and give your body and spirit what it needs in that moment.  Sure, for some people yoga at 5am is the perfect practice, and it may be for me on some days too… but there are also days when I really need to let my body stay in bed and rest.  Sometimes it’s enjoying dessert, or going for a walk in the woods, or reading a book, or getting a massage, or taking a hard look at my pain, or putting on a nice outfit and going out to dinner, or having a good cry, or taking a few deep breaths, or doing absolutely nothing at all.  Self-care is not trying to bend my body and practice and life to fit what I think it ‘should’ be because that’s what so-and-so does and look how perfect their life seems to be.  Self-care is not greedy or overindulgent, it is self-preservation… it is acknowledging that you are your wellbeing matter, and it paves the way to self-love.

I think we probably all put enough pressure on ourselves as it is, and your ideal self-care practice is not something that should be defined by anyone except you, in any moment except now.  This morning, self-care for me was sipping coffee on the porch and listening to the rain fall.  How will you show yourself some love today?

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