Most days, if not all, I experience some sort of pain. In fact, there isn’t a moment that I sit here thinking ‘I feel comfortable’. Imagine - I’m sure some of you reading this are unfortunately in the same boat. I often say to my partner, Pete, “I wish that I could feel like I’m floating and weightless to escape the pain”. Pain is a really interesting and complex topic which I’ll talk more about in an upcoming post; But first, self-care! Self-care is an absolute must! Like Michelle Obama say’s “If you don’t prioritize yourself you constantly start falling lower and lower on your list” - it’s true.
For me, one healthy escape from pain IS self-care. This is why stillness and intentionally going slow is such an important part of my lifestyle. I absolutely need to honour my body to ensure my mental and physical health are aligned and nurtured to avoid spiraling and doing the opposite with self-sabotaging behaviours. Sounds simple, right! It is not.
For me self-care is SO many things, but one thing I’m learning is that self-care is not selfish. Going back to my friends’ (okay not yet ) Michelle Obama’s quote, I think there are many reasons why we don’t prioritize ourselves.
To start, we don’t understand what self-care is and instead we confuse it with self-soothing behaviours, which alone aren’t sustainable.
First, I think understanding the difference between the two is key to on-going self-care. Buying yourself flowers each month is not going to give your body the nourishment it needs. This is a self-soothing behaviour. On the flip side, self-care could be having a healthy sleep schedule ensuring you give your body the on-going fuel it needs.
Start by reflecting on what your body requires on an on-going basis to stay healthy at a reasonable pace for you. Then assess what habits make sense to incorporate into your self-care routine, for example; your sleep schedule, eating habits, therapy check-in’s, massage appointments and meditation routine.
After getting your self-care routine down pat it's then a matter of sticking to your habits and ensuring you honour your body while also including self-soothing practices like watching netflix or buying yourself flowers.
As a society we are running in burnout mode and we need to do better at encouraging our friends to prioritize oneself, to have a therapist, to leave a party early to honour their sleep schedule, etc. Overall we need to advocate for the health and wellbeing of each other like our lives depend on it, because they really do!
Remember self-care is absolutely not selfish. When you prioritize you, society gets the best version of you and there is nothing to feel guilty about for wanting to put your best self out in the world. You do you and make sure you're on the top of your list!
In my next blog, I talk about sugar-free, big-pharma, adaptogens, and what they all have in common - advocacy. A common theme in healthcare, which I even mentioned in this blog, and I share why a health scare sent me in a smart direction that I didn’t know existed.
In the meantime, let me know what self-care and self-soothing habits are non-negotiables in your routine.