You probably see all the stuff on social media about Sunday self-care, and I think that’s great. But self-care isn’t just about Sundays. Self-care isn’t just about facials and manis and pedis, it is so much deeper than that. 

These things that we do refer to as ‘self-care’ — the manis and pedis, the facials and spa — are things that I really like to think of as maintenance, kind of like taking your car in for an oil change, or whatever maintenance service. 

True self-care is truly caring about yourself. 

I think we really need to make that distinction. Like I said, self care isn’t something that just happens once a week on Sundays, or when you have the time. Self Care really is about first and foremost, prioritizing yourself — making sure that you are on your priority list to begin with, and that you’re not the last thing on your priority list when everything else and everyone else has been taken care of. 

So what do I really mean by self-care? I like to think of self-care as really taking care of 3 aspects of yourself: 

  • Your MIND
  • Your BODY
  • Your SPIRIT 

The biggest bully of all time to you is you. The way that we speak to ourselves, the thoughts that we think are really bullying. I read a book called Nonviolent Communication by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, he talked about the fact that “We are violent when it comes to our communication with ourselves.” Oftentimes, the things we say to ourselves are things we would never dream of saying to a friend. We berate ourselves. We beat ourselves up. We hold judgment against ourselves. We would never treat our friends this way, and yet, somehow when it comes to ourselves, it seems to be perfectly acceptable. And so I want to suggest that your self-care should start first with the thoughts that you think, and the fact that the words that you speak about yourself and to yourself matter

I also want to emphasize something really important, it is that the thoughts that you think are a choice. You get to choose what you think. You are the thinker of your thoughts, your thoughts are not you. So anytime you find yourself spiraling out of control in terms of what you’re thinking, remind yourself that you can reach for a better feeling bought in this moment.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t all Pollyanna, and everything’s amazing every day. That’s just not how life works. But what it is about is being careful about what you think and how you think. And also, your thoughts or habits too. You need to be wary of habits when it comes to your thoughts that you allow to be repeated in your mind. 

Nourishing your Mind

Self-care is also about what you feed your mind, because just as much as we focus on nutrition for our bodies, we also need to focus on how we nourish our minds. 

What are the things that you consume in terms of social media, books, or people that you follow? What are the things that you allow into your mind space? That’s where it needs to start — policing the things that you allow in, and not just passively allowing things to come at you and to happen. 

It’s about being proactive in choosing. If I follow a person on social media that tends to trigger me or make me feel not so great about myself, unfollow. If I find content that I love to consume that makes me feel good about myself, yes, let’s have more of that. Books or magazines that help me grow? Yes to all of that. So self care starts with your mind. 

Nourishing your Body

Self Care is also about our bodies. Now I know we have to move our bodies every day, drink water, eat healthy food, all of those things. Yes, that is so incredibly important. But something else that is just as important is rest — giving our bodies and minds adequate rest, allowing them downtime, allowing them the time to regenerate. 

And also when it comes to your mind and body connection, doing things like mindfulness and meditation allow you to connect the body with the mind, which then allows you to remove yourself from all of the stimulation and all of the things that are going on around us in the world. It allows you to just come back to yourself and to center yourself. 

Nourishing your Spirit

What are you doing on a daily basis that allows you to feel joy? For a long time, there were many days where I would think, “Did I have any joy in my day?” And so I actually write in my journal every day about one thing that brought me joy.

 And you know what I realized? It’s not necessarily the material things. It’s not about going and buying the new this or that. Sometimes the thing that brought me joy was literally just sitting and watching the sunrise, or laughing at a silly joke from my nephew, or just spending time with myself. 

Notice what I said ‘with myself’. Because all too often, it seems we’re afraid to spend time with ourselves. We numb ourselves and disconnect by constantly being engaged in activity or social media or whatever. Spend time with yourself connecting with that inner voice, that intuition, that sixth sense, that is your spirit. Make sure as well that you are doing things that bring you joy on a daily basis. They don’t have to be big things. Just finding something every day that you can write down brings you joy. 

This is my interpretation of self care. Yes, let’s go to the spa. Let’s do the mani pedi. Let’s have the facials and the massage, but let’s also make sure that first of all, is not a once a week thing. It’s a daily thing. And second of all, that our self care addresses our mind, our body, and our spirit.

 

 

Sandra has a podcast episode on this topic in the WORTHY Podcast:

You can also watch it on YouTube: