I don’t know about you but sometimes it appears to me that self-care has been hijacked by the craziness of the “do do do” of our culture.
We are “doing” self-care instead of “being” caring to ourselves.
And if we are “doing” and not “being” how much of the care are we actually taking in? Hum, I would wager a guess based on my own life. Not much.
We’ve made self-care complicated. Much of the “to do” around self-care is expensive and leaves a whole bunch of folks out of the loop. It’s gotten tangled up with status and privilege. It’s become a part of our economic engine, for better and for worse.
And it’s not that the doing is bad or wrong, I love a little yoga, and massage, and my daily walk.
It’s that we’ve lost sight of the simplicity of caring. Deeply and mindfully.
And with all that self-care doing we are more overwhelmed, not less. No matter how much we do.
We aren’t caring for ourselves if it’s become another “have to” or “should”.
We aren’t caring for ourselves if we go into debt to do self care.
We aren’t caring for ourselves if we feel guilty that we aren’t doing it.
We aren’t caring for ourselves if it adds more stress to our lives.
We aren’t caring for ourselves if in taking care of ourselves we are harming the planet.
We aren’t caring for ourselves if we aren’t present to receive it.
And on that last bullet--To care for yourself, or heck, to truly care for others---You need to be here. Inhabiting this moment, in time. Present to the fullest!
(Your body is a doorway to the present moment because it is always here! Isn’t that the coolest thing to remember. Come into the body. Come back to sensing your body, your breath, your feet on the ground. Look around, take in the quality of light, color, sound. Enter the moment.)
Once HERE Self-care can be ongoing, simple, and doable. Even in the busiest of lives. You can reset and reboot anywhere. This isn’t about eating or exercise. This is about deep self-care. About giving your body some love all day long.
Here are some simple ---jumping off points for moment to moment re-balancing care---
Hum for 1-3 minutes (this is my latest favorite, I hum in the car all the time)
Give yourself a hug for one whole minute.
Take a walk. Rain or shine. Inside or out.
Make a commitment to pause every hour and move your body for 2-3 minutes
Sing along to a favorite song
Get and give a 30 second, heart to heart, hug with a friend or family member
Take a 5-20 minute nap
Massage lotion or oil into both your hands
Step outside and breathe in fresh air
Take in the blue sky, or the clouds
Take three slow deep breaths, bring your attention all the way down to your feet. Settle into your body.
Do 5 minutes of a short guided meditation. Use a free app
Touch the ground, a tree, a plant---say hello to the more than human world, send it gratitude.
Rub your belly give it some love.
Lie on the ground. Feel the support.
Pet an animal.
Watch a laughing baby video
Take your shoes off and feel the surface you are standing on. Appreciate the support.
Do a body scan, breathe, imagine your cells are smiley faces and then smile with them.
Laugh out loud ---alone or with whoever is around.
Spend some time every week with children under five
Utilize your library-Free books, free events, free place to relax. Libraries are rock stars for simple, free self care!!
Add your ideas to this list_______________________________________________
Self-care needs a reboot.
It’s too individual and truth be told we are not as separate as we’ve been led to believe.
Collective Care has a quality of flow. You offer and you take, you give and you receive-- and you bask in the stillness in between.
Here are a some collective care easy peasies-
Sit with a friend, your arms around each other. Relish the comfort.
Exchange a back-rub or back scratches
Offer a smile to a stranger
Let another car get in front of you in traffic
Offer your spot in line at the grocery store
Plant a small (or big) shared garden with a friend or neighbor or invite them to share yours.
Hold a door for an elder or a younger.
Ask for help. And then offer when you have a minute.
Batch cook together on a Sunday afternoon with a friend. Play some music, dance around the kitchen.
Laughter hug. Laugh and hug at the same time. Trust me. This is amazing.
Add to this list___________________________________________________________________
When you see caring as a flow of giving and receiving, as a reset for your nervous system, as love in action, as a landing and launching, as a doorway to present moment, you’ve arrived.
When you can breathe it in, relish in it, feel your cells plump up, sense the wellspring that arises, you’re a bad-ass.
Tidy up your self-care and try on collective care this week:
Come into the moment.
Keep it simple.
Keep it up throughout the day.
Just for this week.
And see what happens.
The intention and attention you give to these moments is how you reap the rewards.
It’s less about the doing and more about the being. Presence that is.
And that is so freaking hard to do.
But you CAN do it.
Be a fresh, new best friend to yourself and the world. It needs you.