Self-Care as Service
There is quite the controversy about whether self-care is selfish or essential. Some people say that by being focused on oneself, the needs of the world are ignored. We are solidly on the “it’s essential” side! In fact we believe it’s not only essential for you, it’s essential for the world and that taking care of yourself is an act of service to the world. The world needs you to care enough about how you feel to take the time to feel good.
Slowing down enough to notice the beauty all around you is one aspect of self-care. It doesn’t have to be spa days and shopping sprees, and in fact it may be the small moments you take for yourself that have the greatest impact on your peace of mind- and your affect on the world.
Take a look at the photo of the flowers and consider how their beauty is magnified by their reflection in the mirror.
How we feel is mirrored back to us in the world. How? Well you know that interacting with a short-tempered check-out person or customer service rep can dampen your day, but a cheerful delivery person can make you smile, right?
How you feel affects others the same way. If you show up to your meeting feeling calm, focused, and optimistic you shine that good energy over everyone in the room and things get accomplished. After the meeting each person takes that productive, positive attitude into their interactions, and so that good vibe spreads. Now imagine if you arrived rushed, scattered, and frustrated instead. That would create a completely different result, right?
This is where daily (yes, daily!) self-care comes in. It all begins with you deciding how you want to feel and what you want the day to look like. Scheduling some quiet time to set your intentions for the day can affect not only your experience, but the entire outcome. Deliberately creating a goal for how your day will feel and flow, you take control of how you show up for everything on your schedule. This puts you in the right frame of mind to have it all happen just as you envisioned it.
You may be thinking “great, but life happens, and no matter how good my intentions are, I can’t control the world,” and you’re right. Things happen, and we’re thrown off track. That’s normal and perfectly ok! The way to deal with this is to add in mindful breaks to take a few deep breaths and find something to be grateful for whenever you feel yourself losing focus or getting irritated. Try scheduling a few breaks into your day so you center yourself before those feelings arise. Just taking those few moments can act as a reset to bring you back to your initial intentions. This keeps your day on track and you in control of putting your best self out in to the world.
We know that when life is so busy that you’re basically in survival mode 24/7, just taking time to set intentions can be out of reach. So consider what kind of activities help you feel re-charged so you can bring that kind of mindfulness into your everyday life. Walking, reading, meditating, napping, visiting with friends, cooking, relaxing with family, laughing over a silly movie? Does fitting any of these things into your life feel impossible? Maybe it’s time to ask your support system for a little, well, support.
Look back at your last 4 weeks and see how often you did the things that fill you up. If you haven’t been doing at least one thing that fills you up every week, it’s time to put it in your calendar for next month. and if you are doing something once a week, consider adding in one or even two (gasp) more opportunities weekly to fill your cup over the next month. Over time, you’ll find the magic formula for you, and you’ll know you did it when you feel like you’re bringing your best, mindful self to every day.
When you take care of yourself, you have enough bandwidth to show up as your best self for your family, friends, colleagues, and clients. When you operate on a fully charged battery everything goes more smoothly, you can roll with the unexpected, and life just feels more enjoyable.
Even better than that, the world reflects that back to you. Everyone can agree that the world could use more peace, joy and positivity, right?
The world needs you to bring it, so take care of yourself first- it isn’t selfish, it’s the most generous act of service you could do.
If you’d like to talk about getting more support for your emotional well-being, we’re here for that. Let’s talk. Schedule your free call here.