There is a difference between isolation and solitude. Isolation involves completely withdrawing from others and activities you used to enjoy and can leave you feeling lonely, down, and disconnected. Solitude on the other hand allows you to go within and self reflect, which is important for growth and renewal. One way to take much needed time for yourself is to wake up at least 20 minutes before everyone else does and do something meaningful to you. I wake up early to read, write and journal on some days while on other days I enjoy a short but intense workout or yoga to start my day. What is your morning routine? When and how do you make time for yourself?
Find a place that you can retreat to on a daily basis for at least one hour that comforts and soothes your senses. Mine is in my bedroom where I have added a comfortable rocking chair, reading lamp, soft blanket, scented lotion, aromatic candles, downtempo music, and other sentimental items. What do you have in yours?
Self care is a topic we don’t hear too much about. We hear about service to others and the importance of being good caretakers in our various life roles. We hear about being a good parent or spouse, employee or daughter, citizen or friend. How often do we hear about being good to ourselves? How does it make you feel when you hear that question? The first time I heard about self care I thought that practicing it meant I was being selfish. I quickly learned that self care is the best gift you can give to your loved ones. Here’s why:
1. Practicing self care on a daily basis helps prevent burn out so you can have energy to take care of your family
2. It prepares you to handle stressful life events by being healthy and strong
3. Giving yourself time, kindness and attention increases your joy and satisfaction in relationships with others
4. It makes life more manageable so you have more time for fun
5. Practicing self care during stress free times increases your perseverance and stamina to better handle stressful life events (which are inevitable)
Why do you think self care is important? Is there anything about it that makes you uncomfortable?
Today, give yourself permission to care about self care. If you don’t, who will?