It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that self care means eating right and working out at the gym, but to me self care is so much more than that. Self care is a way of giving the body, mind and spirit what it needs to be the best you that you can be. When you listen to your body, then you can create a selfcare routine that is customized to you. Following someone else’s selfcare routine is like trying to wear their clothes. They won’t fit the same on you & they won’t look the same on you. Your selfcare needs to be unique to you.
You need your own selfcare routine for it to work well and really benefit you!
What does self care look like?
Is it a massage, eating food that nourishes you or quiet time by the fire pit? It’s all of those things and so much more.
To me, selfcare is when you listen to your body and notice what it needs in this moment, right now. That’s not always so easy to do. You’re often so busy doing one task after another, that you forget to check in with your body to see if you’re taking care of yourself too. When you neglect to listen inward, then you’re setting yourself up for injury, illness or even perhaps conflict of some kind.
So, the key is to check in and notice what’s happening.
Here’s one way to listen to your body.
One way you can practice this is to stop whatever you are doing. Move your body a bit in whatever way feels natural and right for that moment. Then close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Ask your body what it needs in this moment. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Simply listening inward for 20-30 seconds can give you so much information.
Practice getting in touch with the cues that your body sends you.
When you do this, you’ll find that the body really has a lot to tell you.
It might say that the past week, month or year has been crazy and you really need some downtime. If it does, maybe take a nap or read a book.
The body might tell you that it has lots of energy and would love to move. When my body tells me that, I love to go hiking but whatever movement works for you is perfect.
Maybe the body will tell you that you’ve not been eating nourishing foods and it could really use something different for the next meal.
Whatever it is, when you listen to your body, you’ll connect to what you need to feel better. This is something that isn’t often taught to us when we’re young. Instead we’re often taught to ignore cues from the body. You can begin to change this simply by listening inward from time to time.
Is it time for a change?
Listening to your body might also tell you that you need to make changes in your life. Maybe its a relationship or situation that needs to change. Maybe you need to find a new job or change where you live.
What’s happening in your life will show up in your body and if you listen closely you’ll hear these message too. Making changes or speaking up when you need to can also be considered self care because to ignore that part of life that needs attention only leads to a body that is feeling the stress of a life that feels out of sync.
Selfcare doesn’t always look the same.
The point is that self care will change from day to day. For example, it’s wonderful to practice yoga everyday, but you don’t always need the exact same yoga practice. If you listen to your body, then you’ll realize that the yoga practice that you need will change from day to day. It makes sense after all. You’re not the same person from day to day. You’ve eaten differently. You’ve slept differently. You’ve interacted with different people. Of course you’ll need to adjust your yoga practice to match all of these things. Listening inward for a moment or two prior to your practice will help you adjust it as needed.
When you listen to your body and give it what it needs, then you’ll find that your energy is better, that your mind is clearer and that your spirit is revived.
What does my self care look like?
That depends on the day.
Usually it means giving myself a little time every day to meditate, practice yoga and rest. It means eating foods that make me feel good. It also means hiking out in nature whenever I can to revive my spirit. Finally, it means listening to my body. When I need rest, giving myself time to rest. When I need to express an opinion or make a change, than following through with what needs doing.
In addition to all of the above, lately I’ve been loving backbends of all types. Backbends are so good for my spine and I feel better when I’ve added them into my day.
I’m a better me when I listen to my body and practice my own selfcare.
What about you? What does your selfcare look like when you listen to your body? I’d love to hear what works for you. Comment or send me a message & share your selfcare routines.
Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!