Self-care has become a cliche bandwagon in a world driven by social media. It’s been watered down to a bubble bath or turning off your cellphone to take a nap. Both of which can be ways to practice self-care but not the definition of what this is.
As a coach, I view self-care as a tool not a means to an end. This practice is an excellent way to help reconnect with yourself. ‘How?’ is normally the question I’m asked. The answer may sound simple but it’s truthful. When you find yourself lost you become frustrated. You feel as though you’re existing in this life. Constantly pouring out to others, your career, business, etc. You struggle to find satisfaction. Can you remember the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and felt positive feelings (joy, pride, etc.)? Normally one is burned out and feeling trapped.
I find this to be especially true with high-performers and codependents because these lifestyles come with a lot of people-pleasing. There’s a constant to-do list that leaves little room for self. I was once there. Constantly showing up for everyone that going to bed before the next morning was considered a treat for me. My mental and physical health struggled for years. People told me to take better care of myself but how?
This is when I learned the three ways to practice self-care- physical, mental, and spiritual. I am a huge proponent that we are tri-part beings (spirit, soul, and a body) which spurs me to teach the importance of nurturing all three. This creates balance.
Before breaking down each one I want you to be clear on how self-care fits into your reconnection to self. Any relationship takes time to develop but to do that you spend time with that person. Now, you will not necessarily love that person right away but certain things about them cause you to be interested. This is true for any type of relationship. You discover things you enjoy about someone. Maybe it’s their charisma, attractiveness, or wisdom. As you continue to spend time with them, getting to them leads to liking them. Overtime that like develops into love.
The same applies to yourself. When you practice self-care you are on a road of discovery. You may try some self-care practices and find out it’s not for you. You will also try something new and it’ll bring a new realization. As time passes, you will discover what you like about yourself. The more time spent will develop into truly loving yourself which creates confidence and value. This allows you to flush out environments and people who do not serve your purpose. Creating and holding onto your boundaries will become a breeze because you’re aware of who you are.
Now, we can quickly breakdown the three types of self-care:
Physical- This is taking care of your body. Ways to practice this include getting 6-8 hours of sleep, exercising, taking that bubble bath, or sitting in the sun.
Mental- This is taking care of your mental health or soul. You can do this by journaling, getting therapy or coaching, not engaging with people that cause negative disturbances in your life, enjoying a hobby or a person who you have fun with.
Spiritual- This is taking care of your “inner man”. Ways to practice this type of self-care is going to a house of worship, meditation, affirmations, and prayer.
What are some ways you can begin to implement these practices into your life today?
If you desire to create a stronger 3-part self-care strategy, book a session. We will create a strategy, identify blockers that prohibit practicing self-care, and how to overcome them.
Thank you very much for your help! Of course, I will try to be there.
The problem most certainly starts from within. It’s completely normal to try out many things with no results. It’s all part of the journey! First tip is changing your perception of self-care. There has to be a willingness not force. Believe it or not, you have the willingness since you’ve already tried some things and also looking for an answer.
I suspect you may struggle with just being alone. It can be overwhelming to be solo when there’s uncertainty about ourselves and feelings. There’s probably a disconnect with self. I’d suggest intentional journaling so you can start to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings.
I’m also open to working with you on this in one of my sessions. I’m planning a self intimacy workshop soon as well so please keep an eye out next week for registration.
Thank you so much for this article! I would love to get started and learn to take care of myself properly, but I've tried so many ways and unfortunately none helped. Maybe the problem is deep inside? Maybe I just think that I am not worthy of care from anyone or from myself? Maybe you have some advice on this topic? How to set up and, most importantly, force yourself to take care of yourself?