What if self care – all round self care – was the norm?

I was sat the other Saturday talking about self care with Adam Ant.

OK, I was at a fancy dress party and said Adam Ant was a 16 year old girl!  (FYI I was dressed as Tom Cruise circa 1986 Top Gun)

It was not the situation where I expected to be discussing this topic!

It amazed me that a 16 year knew so much about self care and was putting it into practise. Well some of it.

And that was part of our conversation.

What is self care really?

And how important it is in our lives?

Or is it just the new trend?

  • making sure you get a good night’s sleep
  • having long baths
  • booking a massage
  • going out for a meal
  • going for a run
  • quiet time
  • reading

The list goes on of the recommendations for self care. These and many more do play a vital role in the health and care of our bodies. There have also been various research studies (too many to list) that show the impact these can have on the brain. Releasing helpful natural hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. Which can aid sleep and the metabolism.

So doing things from the above list, or similar, are you taking care of your body and potentially your brain too.

How often do you do them though?

How consistent are you at investing in physical self care?

Too many – me included in the past – leave it until we’re really tired to grab the quiet time or an early night.

Or we book the appointment for a massage/osteopath/reflexologist/ when that niggly pain becomes too much to bear.

So often when things get busy or stressful, self care drops down the list. Becomes an after thought or a bonus to our daily lives.

When it needs to be the priority! And I would say more than once a day!

But why does this happen? Why does it drop from our list?

Well, I’ve not read any scientific theory or research on this, if you find something please do send it to me jules@juleswyman.com. But I have a working theory based on fourteen years of working in personal development with 1,000’s of people.

Often the self care rituals are based on our non-conscious rules.

“I can have this long bath because I’ve had a tough day”

“I deserve this lie in as I have been working hard all week”

“I need to go for a run because I have been sat in meetings all day.”

The challenge with rules is that if we haven’t had a tough day or been working hard all week, then our ‘reward’ is perceived as not deserved, and then will drop down or off our list all too easilliy. Other things and people will take priority.

My question then, is do we need them? The rules?

Do we need X to enjoy Y?

The problem with rules is that they are arbitrary.

So, are they really required for self care?

What if self care – all round self care – was the norm? Regardless of how your day had been – good/bad or somewhere in between. Self care was always at the top of the list?! Even when there are 101 things on your list to do.

There is a cartoon of a business man talking to a monk. He says ‘I’m too busy to meditate for 10 mins’ to which the monk replies ‘then you best meditate for an hour’

And as an avid meditator I would concur with that. Those times when I have been at my busiest is when I benefit even more from the process. I actually no longer see meditation as self care, it’s part of life. Every morning. And often at times during the day when I am finding it a challenge to be focused or creative.

And that’s where all our self care rituals, whatever they may be for you, are best suited. In a place of importance not rule based deserving.

Another reason, in my theory, why I think self care drops away in the crazy times is because we place a higher importance on other things or people. We perceive them to have more value, more worth than ourself. Thus they get the VIP treatment. Because we unconsciously perceive ourselves as worth-less than them/it.

Over the long term, what I have noticed both personally and professionally, is that when self care – true self care – is practised and becomes a normal part of life it challenges our perception of worth-lessness, not that we need to perceive ourselves are more than others. But when we truly value ourselves it feeds our confidence and worthiness, and we experience more equality with others. We are less afraid to voice our opinion, be ourselves, go for opportunities.

So you see, true self care runs deep, it is important.

YOU are important and both are truly worth investing in….everyday!