Do you find yourself frustrated because you know what you need to do and aren’t doing it? Things like self-care and stress management, learning something new – there’s a long list of “shoulds” that has evolved from something intended to support us during the waves of the pandemic into something much less helpful.
This is where a sense of compassion for yourself, the gift of grace, is so important. If you've lost sight of your original intention when you began taking part in something, the end of this year and the onset of the new is a wonderful time for a reset. And you can start with the following question:
Has my self-care turned into self-improvement?
There's a giant difference between giving yourself a gift and selling yourself an obligation. It's very easy to be drawn to something like yoga with excitement over the possibilities it brings and then gradually (or not so gradually) find yourself turned into a taskmaster, with a strict list of must-do's and a sense of failure to go along with it.
But self-care is not an obligation. It's not about making you better or improving you in any way.
Self-care is a practice, an ongoing process, something alive and always growing, right along with you.
Look at the things you are doing - or are not doing - in your own life that are just for you, and just for your own well-being. Try actually getting pen or pencil and paper and making a list of everything that answers the question: what brings me joy, lights me up, makes me, my body, my mind, feel GOOD? Don't censor yourself or question it - just let your mind run free (and let your body and heart chime in too!).
This does not include things like forcing yourself to get up at 5:30am to meditate even though you know you'll be tired all day, or buying another online workshop that you won't have time for. It does include taking a nap, reading before bed, taking a hot bath. It doesn't have to be on a schedule or have to happen a minimum number of times per week. It's just the things that you do for yourself, and that fill your cup and make you feel like yourself.
These things, and the other things you add to the list, are part of a wellness practice. You know better than anyone what belongs there, so just by starting this list of what you love and are nourished by you're taking a giant step in establishing that practice. We don't often tune into what we ourselves want and need. Just taking time to connect with your heart, body and mind to acknowledge your own well-being as important might feel really strange, or scary. But remember this is for you as to PRACTICE, not "improve". You are worth it.
Getting in touch with your own needs is a key element in the Building Blocks of Well-Being, and we have LOADS of tools and practices to help you do just that. You can learn more about what we do here - and remember that you matter, what you do matters, and your well-being matters!