We're experiencing a strange era with many of us disrupted from our routines. While we're carrying on as best we can, self-care as a proactive maintenance of energy is more important than ever. If we do not actively prevent exhaustion and monitor our reserves we quite simply burn out.
In the West, we often take self-care to mean participating in relaxation activities, like bubble baths, or a day on the sofa, but I think this is falling short of properly restoring us. True self-care combines self-knowledge and positive self-talk.
Self-knowledge is important so that we really understand our needs. It's about learning what tips you over the edge and what pulls you back. Triggers as well as remedies differ markedly from person to person. A facial at the day spa might not be what you need to help you bounce back from a 55 hour work week. Or maybe it is.
The other crucial aspect of self-care is managing the way we talk to ourselves. Few things are as draining as the inner critic, who tends to flair up more when we're low on sleep or pushing harder. That bullying voice that tells us we aren't enough will drain your reserves every bit as much as a physically tough day, so it's important to let that stuff go (related: Removing self-limiting beliefs).
What ways do you care for yourself that have come from understanding yourself better? Do you enjoy time to yourself or going to see a movie with others? What are some things you'd add to the list above?
Here you'll find essays and musings on applied mindfulness. What does this look like on a daily basis? How can you infuse it in your day to enjoy yourself more? Join hundreds of others on the the mailing list (link in footer) to get these straight to your inbox.