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Wednesday, December 7, 2016
One of my favorite quotes about self-care comes from poet laureate Audre Lorde –
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation."
Personally, I was raised with the belief that putting oneself first was considered being selfish. As an adult, I realize how this deep seated belief has shaped my relationship with self-care. What has helped me make self-care a more regular part of my life is making it a daily practice. Let's think about the word practice, here are a couple definitions:
- Repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.
- Carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly
Yes, self-care is something we don't have to be perfect at, it's a practice! Some days and weeks will be better than others and that's okay. What I find helpful is consistently scheduling time for self-care.
I'm not talking hours at a time here either. Literally 10-15 minutes a day can make difference you will feel! Early morning seems to work best for me as then I can't run out of time, it won't get too late, and I can't talk myself out of it. Most days this looks like 15 minutes of meditation or writing. I challenge you to take a "self-care 15" two to three days in the coming week, think of it as self-preservation.
As I still struggle with the idea of self-care being self-indulgent, the words of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh inspire me - "Here and there are people who know how to take good care of themselves, who live joyfully and happily. They are our strongest support. Whatever they do, they do for everyone".