Self-care can never be captured in a single aesthetically pleasing square Instagram feed picture. It’s more than scented candles, white hotel towels and beautiful free standing white tubs. Lesego Mothowamodimo, a professional life coach believes that self-care is something that we should all be practicing in our lives. In this article, she explains why self-care isn’t synonymous with and doesn’t always begin or end with luxury.
Often, we hear people using the term ‘self-care’, but do they know what it really means? Self-care is not just about finding ways to relax; it’s about taking care of yourself holistically. It can be described as a multidimensional process of engaging in activities that promote and enhance your well-being. Self-care is important for developing resilience against the things that stress you in life. Taking care of your mind, body, spirit and soul helps equip you to live your best life. There are however some people who view self-care as a luxury and not as a necessity. This unfortunately results in them feeling tired, overwhelmed and finding it hard to deal with life’s challenges.
Self-care is not just about going to the spa for a full body massage or a facial, it involves doing other things that will contribute to your overall wellbeing and these include:
Listening to your body and giving it what it wants: At all times, our bodies know what we need on every level and are always communicating these needs with us. We all have a responsibility to listen to our bodies and to give them what they need. For example, if your body needs sleep, give it sleep – the continuous and undisturbed sleep that doesn’t get interrupted by an alarm kind of sleep. If your body asks for water, give it water. If your body asks for cake, give it cake!
Taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually: This includes asking ourselves in each moment, “What do I need right now?” “What serves my highest good right now?”. After asking yourself these questions, take time to listen to yourself and then take the active steps needed to give yourself whatever it is that you identified.
Taking a break away from the daily activities of your life: When was the last time you took a break and had some much needed ‘me-time’? When was the last time you focused on yourself and not the many people and things that you actually take care of? When was the last time you unplugged, and did you do so fully, unapologetically and free from guilt?
Taking care of your mental health: Investing in healing your childhood traumas is self-care. Doing what is necessary to manage triggers as you work towards acquiring healthy coping mechanisms is a form of self-care. Taking the space and time out of situations that drive your mental wellbeing downhill is also a form of self-care.
Taking time to listen to yourself: After hearing what others have said, it is important to tune into your inner wisdom, tap into your inner guru, listen to your spirit, hear what your heart says, listen to your gut and to act in line with the guidance from your soul. Hearing others out and tuning out the external voices to listen to your soul’s guidance is a form of self-care.