I think that self care is essential to emotional well being. It is more than about treating oneself to a massage or taking a mineral bath. Although, these are a lovely part of a self care practice, the care of oneself is far more encompassing.
Deeply caring for oneself is to be cultivated daily and includes the care of one's mind, body, and spirit. Each person's needs are different and getting to know how to care for yourself is related to getting to know your own needs and acknowledging what these might be. This might include distancing or saying no to things that do not support who you are, making sure there is enough ordinary pleasure in the day, pausing in between tasks, taking things slow on the inside even though things feel fast paced on the outside, and nourishing yourself well - not just with food but with all the senses such as sound, touch, sight.
There was a time when I had virtually no self care practice but over the years, I have come to value a deep self care practice. I like to nurture myself by connecting with the beauty of pure botanicals with a simple skin care routine of placing a few drops of Frankincense essential oil on my body brush before brushing my body followed by cleansing and moisturising with the purest, amazing aromatic oils by Living Libations. I like to spend some quiet time outside in the sun before starting my day. I prepare herbal infusions, whatever I feel my body might need; sometimes it is nettle, other times, rose, hibiscus, horsetail, and passionflower. I love hibiscus or rose infusions mixed with coconut kefir by Peace, Love and Vegetables.
I try not to overload my days but this is not always possible and I like to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. I like to eat organic, whole food, raw chocolate and take pleasure in cafes. I take particular care to process my feelings throughout the day, taking note of any triggers, insecurities, stresses, shadowy sides of myself that might get activated; some I can work through immediately, others need more time. I am constantly refining my capacity to say no and to clear things that no longer serve me or that no longer feel aligned to who I am. These include physical items, ideas, beliefs, people, relationships, and ways of being. I listen to myself more than others to strengthen my self trust muscle and I strive for compassion rather than perfection.
Self care runs through my life as a compass, keeping me grounded, connected, joyful, and my intuition honed. Do you have a self care practice? How much do you value the care of yourself? How can you begin to create a self care practice? Find out what feels essential to your well being and take steps toward meeting those needs on a daily basis and see for yourself what changes this may bring to your life.