We always hear about self love and self care. What does that look like for you?
I am here to tell you a little story about myself. I never really thought much about self care or self love until I started working for a chronic pain clinic. In the field of chronic pain there are few times that you hear a patient say they feel better. Throughout the day you are holding this immense space of positive energy and you are a never ending motivational coach. When someone has a breakthrough it is a huge win.
Three months into working for this clinic I was feeling my energy depleted. At that time I felt like I had a good exercise routine, which helped but did not completely replenish me. One Friday after work I decided to treat myself to a candlelit hot vinyasa flow class. When I was done I felt like I had shed the negative energy from the week and felt high on life. In that moment I realized how important it was to take time out for myself in order to give back completely and fully. I continued with this journey of self care and self love by entering myself into a silent meditation retreat for three days. I again left feeling like I had a sense of renewed energy and it allowed me to see how important it is to set some time out for my self. I also was able to bring back tools of self awareness, mindful practices, active listening, and mindful breathing tools for patients.
By giving myself the gift of self care I was able to discover ways that could help others. I also found that I was less stressed and more flexible when things went wrong. I urge everyone to find some time that allows them to refill their energy. There are so many ways to create self care and self love. Here are some of my favorites:
Mindful movement practices such as: Pilates, yoga, and qigong
Meditation (my favorite apps are Insight Timer and Clam). My favorite meditation teachers are Jack Kornfield and Spring Washam
Take a bath with candles or go to Refuge in Carmel Valley
Receive a massage
Perform self massage or self myofascial release
Receive some acupuncture
Go outside for a walk, run, or just sit in nature. Allow yourself to fully take in the beauty
Create a gratitude journal
Have some daily positive self mantras: “You Got This”, “Today is going to be a beautiful day”, “I am loved”, “I am enough”
Do some type of cardiovascular activity that allows you to reach your target heart rate, which helps to turn on endorphins.
I hope that these tools help you to either start or deepen your journey to self care and self love.