My friends and family want me—need me—to take time for myself.
The people around me depend on me to care for myself so that I am whole enough to share my life with them. And, in that way, self care is more selfless than selfish.
Long before I discovered and began living my heart's true path, I was burning out in a full-time job from which I went home utterly empty each evening. I had nothing left to give to my little kids, my husband or myself. I knew I couldn't continue living that way for long.
Eventually, I recognized that my priorities were upside-down. My first step in turning my life right-side-up again was committing to a weekly yoga class. No matter what.
For years after that upside-down time in my life, I would tell people how yoga saved me. But now I know that what really saved me from a downward spiral was making self care a priority.
What Self Care Can Do
The list of self-care benefits I jotted down all begin with the prefix 're-.' This seems fitting, given the definition here of 're-' itself:
"indicating return to a previous condition, restoration, withdrawal, etc.; indicating repetition of an action."
Taking time for oneself allows a person to:
'Re-.' Return to a previous condition.
Restore. Withdraw. Repeat.
How to Practice Self Care
The key to practicing self care is making it a regular part of your routine. Usually, I do a pretty good job with self care. Last night, though, I could feel I was near empty and that I needed some quiet alone time. My journal and I left the house for just an hour, and I returned with more patience, more love for my family and more energy.
Self care can take many forms, depending on what my heart needs at any particular time. Sometimes I need a walk in a park with my camera or to saunter through an art museum. Other times I need a good, exhausting workout or a challenging bike ride. Or pampering might be what my heart yearns for—for someone else to care for my face or my feet or hands with a gentle facial, manicure or pedicure.
Think of a time when caring for yourself has returned you to wholeness. What could you do more regularly to experience restoration, rejuvenation, recentering? Share your experience in a comment here, on the community Facebook page or via twitter.
Are you ready to discover and live your heart's true path?