The idea of self care has come up many times for me recently. It seems I do fairly well at it for awhile and then I fall off of the wagon. I have a busy day that turns into a busy week that turns into a crazy month. Before I know it, I’ve forgotten to take care of myself in all of the busyness that is my life. When this happens, the self care wheel is a supportive reminder to take care of myself in many different ways.
What are the signs that I’ve forgotten my self care?
Those signs will vary from time to time, but if I listen closely, then my body will give me clues.
After I’ve ignored my own self care, at some point my body begins to remind me that I’ve forgotten it. Sometimes that reminder is subtle. Maybe I gain a few pounds. Sometimes it’s not so subtle and I end up sick. Either way, these are clues that I need to take better care of myself.
My body is always sending me subtle cues and yours will too when you begin to listen to it.
What I ate the day before nourished me or it didn’t. I slept well and had tons of energy or I slept poorly and needed a nap to get through the day. I got outside to enjoy nature and renewed my spirit or I haven’t been hiking in weeks and my spirit reflects that. When I listen to those cues, I have insight into the type of self care that I need.
The self care wheel helps me to diagnose what I need most.
In the busyness that fills my life, I often find that I put others ahead of myself. This works for awhile, but over the long term it isn’t really sustainable. I have to take care of myself if I want to be able to help others. In other words, caring for others starts with caring for myself. I have to listen to what my body is saying that it needs instead of only listening to what other people need from me.
This is where the self care wheel is really helpful!
Which of the following do I most need? Personal self care? Professional self care? Emotional self care? Mental self care? Spiritual self care? Or Physical self care?
It’s not always easy to know which you need the most. This is why I’m always listening to those subtle clues from my body. I encourage you to do the same. Your body will tell you and if you don’t listen, then your body will get louder and louder with that message. Eventually, you’ll have no choice but to listen to that message.
I know it’s not always easy to listen to your body. Daily life gets in the way. You have deadlines. You have obligations and you have other people that need your time and attention. With practice and awareness though, you can get better at listening to your body. When you do, you’ll more easily be able to determine what type of self care that you need. If you’re not sure what you need, then refer back to this self care wheel. Try one or two of the types that are listed and notice how your body responds to what you give it. You’ll know that you’ve got the correct one when you begin to feel better!
Self care leads to a happier life!
When I ignore the subtle cues that my body is sending, I find that life runs less smoothly. I get so caught up in doing things for others that I forget about myself. When this happens I start to find myself with a shorter temper. I get irritable more easily. I let the little things bother me. I feel like I just ‘have to get one more thing done’ or I have failed in some way. I usually accomplish less because I am stressing over what needs to be done rather than just doing those things. Really, ignoring my own self care is counterproductive. I just get so caught up in the daily list of things to do that I can’t see this. Ideally, this is not the best place for me to be.
So, don’t be like me and ignore yourself. Pick what you need the most from the self care wheel & give yourself a gift. Take time for you and live happier and healthier.
If you feel that you need help in determining what your body is trying to tell you, then it’s time to learn to listen more deeply. I can help you with that! Schedule a chat & let’s talk about your goals.