How to Effectively Practice Self-Care: Self-Love in Action
Self-care is an absolutely essential key to living a deeply fulfilling and joyful life. It’s just the way it is! Our grandmothers and even mothers might have thought about self-care as hanging out at the nail salon on Saturdays or getting your hair curled. ☺
There’s nothing wrong with these ideas (which might genuinely feel nourishing) but self-care is also so much more.
I started to really explore the whole concept of self-care when I started studying Ayurvedic medicine, which is centered on self-care. Ayurveda is the science of life, of living. This includes practices like shifting your routines and diets and spices around the seasons, being aware of your mental and emotional states and showing up for yourself in support accordingly, consistently touching and nourishing one’s skin and body in nourishing ways, et cetera.
All of these practices work together to aim at the primary goal of alignment and true health, which is centered around connecting with the True Self.
The True Self is the unique energy inside of you. As you honor this expanded identity, your obsessions and worries about your appearance and the surface of life are put in check. You will radiate a true glow from within, which is incredibly magnetic and powerful. The more you nourish your personal connection to the True Self, the more whole, peaceful and stable you feel. When we practice self-care, we practice self-love in action, and not only we, but all around us benefits.
Why Self-Care is So Important
Being nourished by self-care is like a baby that is loved, pampered, cuddled and adored. The baby responds with proper physical growth, oodles of giggles, and a radiance of love that make your heart burst open. Love begets more love.
On the other hand, when we push ourselves past our limits, when we constantly criticize ourselves or deplete ourselves with poor food choices, unhealthy relationships or unhealthy environments, we squeeze the prana, or life force from us, and everyone around us suffers. We cannot be in the full service of love when we are not loved by ourselves in the first place!
Today I want to offer you a practical look at self-care. Here are some powerful ways to create self-care in action, using our 4 Cornerstones. Some of these practices you might already be engaging in, and some others may be new to you. I encourage you to pick at least one self-care practice in each of the 4 Cornerstones to focus on, which you might practice on a daily or weekly basis.
Self-Care and the 4 Cornerstones
The power of the Cornerstones is in fostering holistic self-care and wellness, which will take you farther than just going super deep into only one of the Cornerstones alone. Remember that all of the Cornerstones are interrelated. For example, if you have some food issues you are working through, the Emotional Well-Being and Spiritual Growth Cornerstones will be very much related. Widening your energic focus there will certainly deepen the benefits you feel.
Let’s dive in and take a look at some specific ideas on self-care.
Prepare a meal lovingly for yourself. Simple is great! It’s about the time and attention to yourself that counts.
Pause to give thanks before you eat.
Mindfully make a warm elixir, and sip on it as you read or just relax in the evenings.
Create awareness and stop eating when you are 80% full, so you don’t overstuff yourself. (Which would not be very loving!)
Take 10 deep breaths before you start cooking or preparing food for yourself, to center your energy into the present moment and the intention at hand.
Incorporate essential oils into your practices, such as adding a few drops to a body wash. I make a spray with distilled water for my office, as I love being immersed in the scents!
Take time for self-massage, abhyanga, or at least rubbing cream into your feet every night.
Take your 2 SBO Probiotics every day. If you love yourself, you need to love your gut as well, which is absolutely central to your well-being!
Stretch for 10 minutes a day. 10 minutes isn’t a huge deal, but it is to your body! Tension and stress can build up, so it’s truly nourishing to allow spaciousness and prana to pour back into your body through stretching.
Create space, time and awareness to show up for yourself and allow yourself to feel big feelings, so that they can be digested.
Journal for 5-10 minutes daily about what you’re feeling or going through or processing. It’s a real gift to give yourself this sacred space.
Commit to a daily gratitude practice, either upon waking or before meal times, to saturate your life and mindset with the abundant energy of gratitude.
Survey your relationships honestly. Is there anyone you need to create a healthy boundary with? As I say to my kids, “Use your words!” Communicate your needs unemotionally and from the heart, and they will be heard.
Mark the end of the work day with a ritual such as a warm shower, making yourself tea, going for a short walk or whatever, signaling to yourself that it’s time to relax thereafter.
Spend some time in stillness and silence, just being.
Contemplate that things in life are not so personal, often we see things as much bigger deals because of past wounds we carry. All of life is on a journey, and the more we accept the non-personal quality to life the greater our inner peace becomes.
Take a mini-meditation or breathing break. Take 6-10 deep belly breaths, or practice the Expanding the Gaps Practice from the new book.
Hoping this support you on your personal wellness journey! I am here always, listening, in case you want to submit a question or reach out about something.
Remember that to self-care yourself is to love yourself!