Self Care Shouldn’t Be Rare
This is a part of The Cultivate Project. A once a month project where I explore mindsets we can cultivate and nurture to bring more care to ourselves and others. Currently I have for a short time this artwork available as an art print or notebooks. But they are only available until November 16, 2021. After that I’ll move on to the next month’s cultivation project. Click below to see the collection or scroll down to see some ideas on self care routines.
Recently, a good friend spent a week feeling like something was off, wasn’t feeling joy in her life, and was feeling more frustrated even about little things. After a week of feeling this, she broke down. She knew something was wrong but didn’t know what it was or how to fix it. A couple of days later, after going for a long run, she came back inspired. She felt better and finally could put her finger on it. She was so busy the past couple of weeks with her job, her children, and all the little emergencies that pop up in our days, that she forgot about herself. She had great routines but let go of them to take care of what she thought was most important.
I talked about this last week for myself as well. I was feeling like my work didn’t matter. That it seemed all fluff and there was no purpose to it. I was in the middle of a project where things get tough and problems need working out and the end seems nowhere near. But I realized taking care of myself was the real problem. Doing the routines and things I know I need to feel joy, inspiration, and motivation.
Self care is super important, now as it ever was. If we aren’t caring for ourselves then it seeps out to other people and if we are trying to care for others, it becomes a burden and difficult.
The project I’m working on right now is all about self care. Those things we can practice or cultivate that bring joy into our being. It’s about looking inward and doing things for yourself that help you be the person you want to show up for the people in your life. Because you can’t show up as that person if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
I thought I’d share my favorite ways to cultivate self care in my life:
1) Quiet time. And I mean quiet as in, no music, no tv, nothing that might distract me. I sit in silence – and I usually need at least 30 minutes of this a day or I feel off. Ideally it would last an hour for me and I have small routines that I go through as I do this but the important point is time alone without distraction of any other human being.
2) Gratitude practice – I write down 3 things every day I am grateful for – and I try to make one of them a future thing.
3) Affirmations – these change and sometimes include goals I want to achieve but the practice of writing them down helps ground me when I get in my head about who I am or who I’m not. Or what I believe.
4) Creating Art – if I turn to it, it always makes me feel better. Even when it’s hard to get started what pushes me to do it is the uplifting mood I always get from creating art.
Bonus: Exercise – sometimes its only 15 minutes but it makes a difference.
It takes discipline and practice but when we are disciplined to show up each day for our own selves it becomes much easier to show up for others.
I also wanted to leave you with a couple of resources:
“In order to design successful habits and change your behaviors, you should do three things. Stop judging yourself. Take your aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviors. Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward.” This is only on page 2. I’ve read this book and recommend it for the compassion it takes in approaching habit changes. There are a couple of other books that also address changing the systems we build for habits and I haven’t had the chance to read them but they are:
Check out the current Cultivate Project Art!