Diving into the Realm of Self-Care
If someone would have asked me a year and a half ago if I was taking care of myself, I would have immediately said "yes." But if that same person were to ask me HOW, or in what ways I was taking care of myself, that's where I would have realized I wasn't.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of self-care can be defined as: "care for oneself."
I feel like this definition is short and simple, but almost TOO simple. Self-care can be a simple concept, but I feel it can be overlooked by many of us every single day. Self-care is any type of activity that we can participate in that takes care of our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. It promotes a good, healthy relationship within ourselves, thus promoting good and healthy relationships with others.
So, how did I realize I wasn't participating in a regular self-care practice? And how did I change it?
In early 2016, I was finishing up 3.5 years in chiropractic school, taking exam after exam, and practical after practical. I spent so much time studying for hours on end for my chiropractic board exams. Oh, and I was planning a wedding on top of that! By the time I made it out, got married, and moved to Des Moines in July of 2016 - I was completely and totally burnt out. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. If I would have discovered self-care, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, gratitude from all of the wonderful bloggers and writers then - I would have arrived at this concept much earlier.
By July of 2016, I was on a journey of figuring out what kind of chiropractor I wanted to be. If I wanted to work for another wonderful chiropractor, or go into business for myself. I had tons of time within a new city, waiting for my chiropractic license to be issued, and I LITERALLY didn't know anyone. So, in between my explorations, I started to dig into books, podcasts, blogs, ANYTHING that truly resonated with my spiritual practice. And that is when I started reading about how self-care can really be the key to living a balanced lifestyle.
The more I started to read about these things, the more I realized I wasn't taking care of myself the way I wanted to. I wasn't manifesting the things I truly wanted in my life because I wasn't giving myself the simple care that I truly needed to be who I wanted to be.
So where did I start?
I honestly started with the basic and simple tasks. Regular chiropractic adjustments? Check. Drinking my 6 to 8 glasses of water? Check. Taking 5 minutes to meditate? Check. I even stopped skipping meals through the day. Check, check, check. Over time - I was able to figure out what worked for me, and how to adapt it into my daily routine. Over time, I became conscious of what forms of self-care I needed more of, and what I needed less of.
I had to PLAN it out. Throughout chiropractic college, I was a to-do list junkie. I knew how to plan my days, weeks, months, and even trimesters of school out starting from syllabus day. I carried those skills over into my self-care practice. You have to make an active choice that you are devoting TIME for yourself in these actions. I added certain activities to my daily calendar. Then I announced my plans to my husband every single day in a commitment to myself. Then I forced myself to follow those plans.
Lastly, I had to fix my mindset. Something really had to shift, especially my perspective towards loving myself, how I was treating myself, and especially how I was viewing my life. I started to view those things as self-care. I started to really think about what self-care action I was doing, and why I was doing it. Then I focused on what the outcome of performing that action would be - how would it change my life?
So why did I decide to make a check-list?
I wanted to make taking better care of myself a more enjoyable activity. Something I could engage in throughout the day, because I felt like I wouldn't follow through if I didn't. As any type of practice goes, whether it be yoga, mindfulness, gratitude, or even maintaining alignment with chiropractic, it takes PRACTICE and CONSISTENCY.
By the end of the day, I felt really happy with myself for not only staying accountable. I honestly felt like I was really manifesting some really great changes within myself. I also felt like I was generating some really great experiences and people in my life, too.
With that being said, check out my self-care page here and sign up to get your own free daily self-care check list e-mailed right to your inbox. I hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me throughout my days.