I was really stressing about how to approach this topic, even though I had quite a mouthful to say in the last post. But it was because I did not want to simply rewrite the myriad of posts already out there. And no matter where I researched and looked, I kept revisiting the Mind, Body, Soul interpretations because essentially that is our true nature. And on top of that, there are many dimensions of self-care that are all interrelated and therefore I have decided to over simplify a very complex subject in my own unique way.
So what is Self-Care of the Outside?
It relates to what’s on the outside of us… Your Body! Physical self-care is all about our bodies and what we do with our bodies. How we interact with our bodies and how we treat our bodies.
I like to think that my Self Care started with the Physicality of Self Care. I looked at the state of my health and what I needed to do to get healthy. My body was exceptionally unwealthy (breast cancer, thyroid disease, etc…) and I needed to acknowledge that. The next step was to address the issues and then change my habits to healthier choices. This included a mindful nutritious diet, exercise (a whole lot), a regular sleeping routine and listening to my body’s needs.
I still struggle with a healthy diet – I don’t eat enough fruit and veg, but I make a conscious effort daily to include more green choices. I have managed to up my exercise game a whole lot and I am really grateful that I have. I have a rigid sleeping routine as my body needs at least 6 hours of sleep to function normally but 8 hours of sleep to function optimally. This revelation came to me after I had chemo and was sleep deprived for months… I am hyper aware of everything my body requires.
Listening to my body has come as a hard lesson for me. In June I got the flu whilst travelling. I was mostly bedridden with severe body aches and high fevers. Recovery was slow and the symptoms seem to return every time I exercise. I then needed to sit back and realise that I was not going to run my first marathon in September… I have still not returned to running yet!
Physical Self Care came easily, however in my opinion Practical Self Care is where the fun ends.
It relates to the interaction with your environment. We need to understand that our personal space is a reflection of our inner state. I know… no fun… Therefore a clean house and tidy drawers and cupboards reflect a level of self-control and order that is quite empowering… apparently!
I don’t know…
Not convincing Blah blah blahhh!!!
I keep telling myself ‘Remember this is Your space’. Clean it! Make it pretty! Make it serene and fill it with love. Add some green and maybe even add other living organisms – like a child, dog or a cat! Never live in an unclean environment because (that is yuck and gross) it will impede your health!
So let’s make this simple… Clean your body daily! Change your underwear daily. Change your bed linen regularly. Clean your floors and toilet regularly. Declutter everything everywhere! Donate what you don’t need – except the children and/or husband!
Now we get to the nitty-gritty… Ta da…
Social Self Care!
I am not very good at socialising. I am a highly sensitive person and an INFJ. Even though my few friends will argue that I am NOT INTROVERTED… I AM! I am terrified of people! My worst nightmare is going to social events where there are large masses of people I don’t know – like races or concerts! (And my thoughts race and I want to throw up and run away… but I am paralysed with fear! Shoooooooo…)
Therefore I keep my circle small and my time limited. I do however realise that I need other people (although in small doses) in order to function in this world and maintain a certain level of normality.
I joined a social running group and a CANSA wellness program to help me with my social anxiety. At least once a year I attend a conference or concert by myself to challenge my fear of crowds, and every now and then when I am feeling really brave, I will run a race by myself!
I do however love deep meaningful conversations and my ability to connect with people honestly – therefore I write! Writing this blog is such a huge part of my social well-being as it allows me to express my emotions with other’s in a safe friendly environment. I am able to interact in a way that does not stress me or make me feel unpleasant!
I am grateful, Thank You!
Until next time x