I don’t choose a word for the year. I don’t normally choose a theme, either. And I don’t remember when this year’s theme – self-care – first whispered into my awareness, but it did and continues to do so.
It’s a pretty big topic for me, caring for oneself, both as a personal topic and professionally speaking. There are a few clients for whom I write and self-care comes up now and again as a topic for them. I like that it does, honestly, because it’s something we don’t talk or think often enough about.
Merriam-Webster defines self-care as:
As a definition, it’s not too bad. A bit clinical and lacking some of the more important features, though. But see, that’s the problem, because self-care is so very individualized and we all have to figure it out for ourselves.
Also, most people hear the phrase and automatically translate it to “selfish,” which is not the case at all.
You Write the Definition
So the good news (and a bit of the bad news) is that you define your own self-care. When you’re in charge of something that important, where do you start?
With the basics.
Are you eating? Hydrating? Moving your body? Taking care of your personal hygiene? That sort of stuff.
But here’s the thing. You can do every bit of that and more and still be neglecting your own self-care. I know I have. If you’re neglecting those basics, though, start there and don’t add on to it until you’re stable with the bare minimum.
Need or want some help with keeping basic self-care in mind? This interactive self-care flowchart is excellent. Use this if you’re numb, if you’re depressed, if you’re not sure you even want to care about self-care.
Basic Self-care vs. a More Involved Version
Alright, so basic self-care is covered. What does it take to keep you happy? To keep you productive? To really make life an enjoyable experience for you?
Or is there something about your life you want to improve? Do you want to eat better, exercise more, or tackle something else?
That’s where more advanced — and nebulous — self-care comes in. You’re really able to dig deeper into what it means to you to take care of yourself.
If you’re having trouble sorting this out, sit with it for a while. Journal about it. Meditate on it. Talk to your spirit guides. Go through a week of normal activity and keep the question in the back of your mind: Is this part of self-care for me?
I did that, in fact I’m still doing that. And I came up with my rough plan.
My (Rough) 2017 Self-care Plan
Basic self-care is the foundation.
Continue to meditate daily. Or close to daily. I’m not being incredibly strict with myself here, but it definitely makes me feel much better. It’s also when I tend to have the most communication with myself and my guides.
Set up a workable daily schedule. I work from home, but things get away from me. Work takes longer than I anticipate or tasks for the house take longer than I expect. Or I flit from one thing to another. It happens. But I’m learning to set and stick to a schedule for my day. It keeps me grounded and it helps me make sure I hit all the marks I want to hit. One of those marks being blogging for myself more regularly. The better I become at managing my schedule, the more time I’ll have to write for myself.
Move more. Adding more movement to my day is essential. I’m at a desk pretty much all day. My body, my mind, and my soul need this.
Include more self-Reiki into my life. I’m great at offering it to others, I just forget that it helps me, too.
Add more joy to my life. I enjoy my life, don’t get me wrong. But there are things that I enjoy doing that I haven’t done in a while or that I don’t do more regularly because they’re frivolous or they’re time-consuming. So this year, the idea is that I’m making more of those activities a priority. And if those things add joy to my life? Then they’re neither frivolous nor a time waster.
Whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m not naïve enough to believe I’ve wrapped everything up into a bow with this plan as it stands. There is far more that can and may fall under the self-care umbrella for me.