What does self-care actually mean? Some things that first come to mind are drawing a bubble bath, sleeping in an extra hour, starting a new thriller book, or taking a day off from work to relax. These are important things to incorporate into your life, but we believe self-care can go deeper for a longer-lasting impact.
To go further than surface level and find out what it really is that you need in this moment, sit down and ask yourself this question: Is there something inside of me that needs attention?
Determine those elements that are in the back of your mind that you keep putting off. These are not necessarily tasks. They can also be the need for exercise, mental clarity, change, or reconciliation. For example, maybe you had a fight with your mom a week ago, and that guilt has been subconsciously sitting with you. Or perhaps you are in an unfulfilling job that isn’t leading you anywhere positive.
Rather than hopping in the bathtub and hoping that your problems disappear, tune into what you feel needs further attention in this actual moment. Pick up the phone and call your mom to apologize. Set aside 30 minutes during the week to do some job hunting. Heck, just see where it leads!
Baking can be a mind-clearing, cathartic activity.
These small actions, baby steps as they say, will begin a ripple effect into further reaching your goals and desires. Soul searching has to start somewhere. Once you’ve figured out where to begin and put a plan into action, then you can back out to those surface level things like reading a good book. And you can turn the pages with a clear mind.
Once you have done what your soul is searching for, that’s when you can open a book and truly dive in without the internal feeling that there is something still needing attention.
Here are some of my favorite self care techniques, both on a “surface” level, and going a little deeper.
Surface Level Self Care
Surface level self care could be considered a half-hearted attempt at an instant fix. Sort of like popping an aspirin every time you have a migraine instead of seeking a real cure. But once the conscious is clear of whatever is truly affecting you, baking banana bread or trying a new coffee shop to break routine can help propel you further into a positive light.
Spend more time in the sunshine. Pour a glass of your favorite vino, draw a bath, and kick back with a good book. You may even pick up the phone and call your parents or a best friend, somebody that you have a deep-seated relationship with.
Taking a Deeper Dive
The deep dive into self care should start with an awareness of the things that need to change followed by a plan and course of action. Determine where you want to see yourself in five years. If you’re not on the right path to get there, what needs to change? It certainly helps to come up with and write down incremental weekly and monthly goals that are more easily digestible.
A walk in the woods can help you take a deeper dive into finding your inner self.
If you feel like the pressure of your job is negatively affecting your personal life, look elsewhere. Perhaps your physical health is not what it once was. Take a look at your current diet and make whatever changes are necessary to provide you with the proper nutrients for a more healthy lifestyle. Again, take it one step at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Ground yourself. Sit down in a chair or lay on the bed and feel your body release. Notice your surroundings, the sounds you hear, the things you smell, the feeling of your body making contact with whatever you are resting on for a grounding sensation.
We all spend a lot of time giving to others; it’s the nature of most human beings. Just don’t forget to give back to yourself from time to time by recognizing the things your mind and body crave to simply be better. You’ll be better for it!