Self-Care Is NOT a Double 4 Letter Word!
When self-care has been put on the back burner for a time, there can be great discomfort in re-establishing a routine. Some phrases I have heard when beginning self-care are, “Now, don’t overdo it…” “Don’t you have work to do?” “Don’t be so silly and do something productive!” It is as if the mind, which is so accustomed to work and productivity overrides care as a 4 letter word. The mental hand comes up to declare this is NOT NECESSARY.
It is necessary
Do you hear the whisper within? It is necessary to take care of yourself with kind words, loving actions, and meeting your needs. This is crucial to well-being. And we forget this.
“Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” ― Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
How do you speak to yourself in your own head? Notice today what your internal dialog is. I promise you; you cannot be too kind to yourself. Be lavish in your love. Give yourself great heaping doses of praise for jobs well done and loving compassion when you are new, make a mistake, or need to re-chart a course of action. Kind words can sound like, “Wow, you did a great job with that. Let’s celebrate for a moment and feel that accomplishment!” or “This is uncomfortable because you have never done this. Take your time. It’s ok to make a mistake. You’re learning. You’ll be a pro at this in a month.” or “What do you need? Is this still meeting your needs or do you need to choose again? It’s ok to make a change. Life is always changing. That’s not your fault.”
“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.” ― Sylvia Plath
What do you do for yourself that makes you feel really loved? Mine is taking a bath at a random time. Bubbles and all. Daily I choose movement that my 99-year-old self will be really glad I am doing today. Sometimes I shut my ringer off if I need uninterrupted time to decompress. Another loving action is to clarify expectations in relationships. I like to ask for what I need in clear action requests. This is new to me and I’m loving how being specific can help me get what I need. What loving action can you begin today to support your needs?
Meeting Your Needs
This begins by asking, “What do I need?” This question can be asked at any moment of the day as often as you need to ask it. The answer changes all the time. We are humans with endless needs. It can be as small as, “To Breathe.” “To be listened to.” “To rest.” Our needs can be met by actions that we take. It is a listening to our inward response and deciding an active verb that we can meet our needs. We are more likely to get our needs met by asking for or acting the action than wishing for general change.
I need support. What is support to you? Make support into an active verb and suddenly it’s possible to meet your need. An example of support can be doing the dishes, making the bed, or sitting on the couch and being listened to for 10 minutes.
I need connection. What’s connection? A phone call? Dinner with a friend? What are you doing when you feel connection?
Meeting needs can happen by switching from a noun to a verb.
What support can you ask for?
What support can you offer yourself?
Need help figuring out how to speak your needs in relationships? Give me a call and we’ll design language around transforming a need into an action you have control over.