I want to show you how good it feels when you make self-care a priority. I want you to see that it’s not selfish. That it doesn’t require too much time.
Self-care is not as much about what I do, as it is how I think. It’s about taking a moment to put myself in the equation, consider how things will affect me, and make choices based on that. It doesn’t mean that I always put my needs first, just that sometimes, I do.
I’m not advocating selfish, self-indulgece, like missing your child’s dance performance to get a pedicure, or skipping out on a friend in need so you can go to yoga. I’m advocating for you to give consideration to yourself and your own needs too.Self-care is not about being selfish, it's about being mindful and realistic about your needs.… Click To Tweet
Self-care is tuning into your body, and when you notice the tightness in your back, taking three deep breaths to release it instead of pushing on to the next work task. Self-care is talking honestly with your sister about how she hurt your feelings so deeply, instead of trying to let it go.
Or perhaps you have a job that just “pays the bills,” and you notice that when you let your volunteer work at the homeless shelter slip, you tend to question your purpose and feel down. Self-care is re-prioritizing the activities that give your life joy and meaning, and making sure you have the energy to do them.
Self-care is about engaging authentically with yourself and others about who you are, what you need, and what you have to give. Some of the most giving people I’ve ever met have the most strict self-care practices.
How One Selfless Person Does Self-Care
One of my new favorite ways to “fill my inner well” is listening to On Being, a fabulous podcast on “the big questions of meaning…what it means to be human… and…how we want to live.” An interview with a social activitist, Zen meditation practitioner, and Catholic nun, Sister Simone Campbell , of Nuns on the Bus, got me thinking about the importance of service to others in our self-care practices.
Simone Campbell is sharp, witty, compassionate and will completely change your image of the stuffy, old, habited nun rapping your knuckles with a ruler. She lives her life in service to others. I was moved by her commentary on being open to what comes in the moment, and her ability to embrace the positive.
But one thing Simone Campbell said really troubled me.
She said people often ask whether her many commitments and constant travel are exhausting. She noted that her reply is always the same: she only gets depleted when she focuses on herself.
This is exactly what I ask you to do.
Was I missing something? I couldn’t understand how could she give so much of herself if she didn’t engage in self-care. But as I thought about it more, I understood that in fact, she has a very robust and rich self-care practice, she just frames it differently.
Sister Simone meditates every morning. She prays. She attends religious services. She lives in a community where she is deeply connected. She believes in a larger power and feels connected to it. She is clear about her life’s purpose, her place, and the things she needs to do to maintain them.
A life of service brings her joy and energy because she has a lot to give, so giving feels good.
I don’t think it’s a mistake that when we do something good for someone it makes us feel good too. I believe we are hard-wired to want to help each other. I also believe that without self-care, there’s very little to give.
For Sister Simone, self-care is her spiritual life. What is it for you?
For more ideas on how to incorporate self-care in your life, check out this post.
What is the 5 for 5 Self-Care Challenge?
I want to show you that self-care can be really simple and fun. So here’s my challenge to you:
Next week, on Monday, August 3rd – Friday, August 7th I challenge you to spend a minimum of 5 minutes each day on self-care, and then comment about it here. That’s it.
I will share ideas and inspiration each day to help you get started, but if the prompt is painting and you prefer to watch the sun set, mindfully walk the dog, or carry out a random act of kindness, go for it! All you need to do to enter is comment on your experience.
We will be doing lots of creative self-care together, including writing, making art, and enjoying nature.
Who doesn’t love the chance to win a prize? I do! Two lucky winners will receive a copy of my upcoming e-book, Starting Your Art Journal,
One winner find a portable art kit, worth $40 in their mailbox.
Please share this post via social media to build this community.The #5for5selfcare challenge starts Monday August 3rd. Are you ready? Click To Tweet
No purchase is necessary to win. Each day you comment on that day’s blog post by 12 PM EST is one chance to win. Limit one chance per day per person regardless of the number of comments you make. You must be at least 18 to enter. You can live anywhere in the world, be male or female, and be any shape, size, gender, color, religion, etc. Void where prohibited. The challenge starts on 7 am Monday, August 3rd, and ends at 12 PM EST on Friday August 7th.
Two winners will be randomly chosen from all the commenters and receive a copy of the upcoming e-book Starting Your Art Journal, which retails for $3+. One randomly chosen winner will receive a portable art kit worth approximately $40. Winners will be contacted individually via e-mail and their name will be shared on the blog. Winners must sign a release and affidavit of eligibility.
What are your “self-care challenges?” Where do you find yourself getting stuck? Does service fit into your self-care practice?