What is self care? According to wikipedia self care is defined as “self care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated”. A pretty grande definition that requires some unpacking. In our fast paced world, the words “necessary human function” have kind have taken a back seat to making money, more productivity and longer checklists. I know firsthand because of my type-A personality, this is a battle I personally have to fight every day. I set my intention regularly to re-focus on how I can rest and what do I need to do for self care.
Now, something I hear regularly is “isn’t that selfish?”. I would argue that isn’t it selfish to not take care of yourself. If you are too tired, raged, run to the ground to even function every day how are you supposed to contribute and get done what you need to do? If you can’t focus, get sick, need to spend more money on pharmaceuticals, take time for doctors and lab tests, and shorten your life all because you didn’t take time to care for yourself, how is that worth it?
For me, self care is presenting to the world the best self I can be. My journey looks very different than others, yes. But the principal of “regulating necessary functions” remains the same. This includes:
- firstly, that I am actively making a conscious decision to choose what I am doing/not doing and why. I need to be aware of my needs, and what I have to do (for others)
- time to reflect, journal, plan, focus, prioritize and read
- connecting online with others who are like minded by sharing my story and commenting on theirs
- “coffee” time with friends and family. just talking about life
- creating recipes and sharing them. giving back using my kitchen skills
- just cooking. i enjoy my food prep sessions immensely.
- rest time. this is huge for me with an injury and with an autoimmune illness. Sometimes it means naps, sometimes it means watching a tv show and sometimes a bath. But not moving and racing around is the key!
- I see a counsellor, a physiotherapist, a chiropractor and a naturopath. My allied health team are a huge part of how I define medical care. I see my whole body, mind and soul as interconnected and equally valuable in investing in.
- investing in my fitness. this is still a rehabilitation for me so is a focused goal on getting stronger and on stretching. Three times a week gym sessions, hot yoga and lots of walks. Which leads me to my final point
Try something new. Step outside my comfort zone. Stretch my mind, and what I see of myself. To me this is growth. I have been avoiding spin class for a long time. I “hate” bikes I keep telling myself. I m not that fit and I don’t like groups and blah blah blah. Honestly, all my excuses aside I was just scared. So last night I went to a hip hop themed spin class at my yoga studio and it was fantastic. Maybe it was the beats, or maybe the disco ball. But maybe it was me pushing past my self-imposed boundaries and exploring the world. I think I will try it again.