How to Know You Need Self Care
Signs You Need Self Care
Soul Centered Spiritual Wellness and Self Care
Getting enough sleep, brushing your teeth, and eating well are classic examples of good physical self-care. These basics are pretty obvious because your body lets you know when you're tired or hungry.
But knowing to give your emotional well-being the attention it deserves is equally important. Self care begins with an honest, compassionate evaluation of your life.
“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 to others.” Parker Palmer
Acknowledging the slow leak
For years, when I heard the term, ‘self care’, I rolled my eyes in contempt. But I was forced to acknowledge the effects of a slow leak in my emotional engine. I was burnt out and disillusioned. I’d driven myself past every yellow light and yield sign. I slammed into the hard gray wall of depression.
Help myself get help
I needed to figure out how to help myself get help! So I ate a big slice ‘humble pie’ and began reading about ‘self care.’ The primary task was understanding why I was burnt out. I needed a diagnostic test. I share the following discoveries in hopes they may be a help to you too.
“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” Stephen Covey
Self inflicted expectations
Burn out happens when you fuel your life on self inflicted unrealistic expectations. I’d twisted myself into a pretzel in attempting to tick all the boxes I thought necessary. I was a mom of five, homeschooling, moving continents and packing up houses, all while grieving the loss of my Mom to cancer. I facilitated endless dinner events in our home assisting my husband’s role in pastoral ministry. My internal code was, “Serve. Give. Rinse and repeat.” I drove myself on fumes.
Running on empty
Mechanics give rough approximations on how long a car can keep going when the tank reads empty. The experts say you can probably expect to get anywhere from 30 miles on a nearly empty tank. Depending on the car, you may even eke out more than 100 miles.They explain the real-life numbers vary according to how you drive, the condition of your car and the type of road terrain. Let’s just say I drove like a banshee, the condition of my car was questionable and the road was rocky. The fumes in my tank were gone. I was depleted and despondent.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
There’s a good reason the lights on our cars’ dashboard are nick named ‘idiot lights.’ It’s idiotic to ignore their flashes! And you pay a high price for doing so.
Dinged and bruised, I bumbled my way into the self-care garage and allowed it’s tenets to overhaul my crucial systems and rebuild my motor. There was lots of work to be done. I had to ask myself some hard questions.
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” Jack Kornfield
If you’re running on fumes too, you can begin by getting curious about the causes. Here’s is a check list to get you started along with resource links for further reading.
Check and see
Do you have any self-sabotaging thoughts?
Yep, that's me!
How many ‘Yep, that’s me?’ did you have?
If you nodded affirmative to more of these than not, it’s high time you roll yourself into some self care maintenance.
Know Your Worth
The first step in taking self care seriously is to understand you are worthy of health and you are immensely valuable to those in your life.
We need tending
We are complex creatures, so self-care is much more than what’s touted on our social media feeds. We are a spirit. We carry a soul (our emotional make up). And our body houses it all. The best self care regimens involve all parts of us. Our bodies need tending as well as our emotions and our connection with God. ( If that word bothers you, then read in its place, ‘the power that is higher and greater than all of us.)
Coaxing our bodies into wellness certainly may include bubble baths. But an effective self care regimen involves our whole being - body, soul and spirit.
Here are some ideas
Below, you'll find lists of ideas to get you started along with resource reading links.
Physical self care involves those practices which nourish and protect our bodies.
Emotional self care is the awareness that comes from understanding what’s necessary for nurturing, and honoring your feelings. It begins with identifying feelings and attitudes.
Spiritual self-care is any practice we do to further our connection with our higher self. Your higher self is who you truly are at your core- the real you. Understanding your existence in the spiritual sense is a vital part of self-care that is often overlooked. Here are a few ways to tend your spirit.
For more self care info...
To further you on in your self care journey, here’s a mega list of ideas from tinybuddah.com - an awesome site that offers respite and inspiration.
I wish you well on your journey toward self care. We’re all in this thing called ‘life’ together! I’d love to hear what ideas you find most helpful!