In terms of your mental, emotional or physical wellbeing, if I was to ask you what you need right now, what would your answer be?
I’m currently experiencing a number of situations, one after the other, that have collectively combined to create overwhelming stress and worry. I’m normally a very pragmatic person who acts immediately and pushes through by working on some kind of resolution, but these recent, ongoing struggles have impacted me in a way that has left me less effective than normal at untangling these types of problems.
When it comes to self-care, I tend to put it off until after an issue has been dealt with, but there was something about this cumulative shit storm that required a different approach. Asking myself what I needed at a very specific moment of intense stress was hard to answer. At first, I just listed the situations that caused all the worry, but that’s just an exercise in recycling negativity. I got frustrated with myself that I wasn’t as capable as before at getting things done. And then it hit me as clear as day. I was drained. Drained physically, drained emotionally, and mentally exhausted. What I needed was healthier energy to aid focus and motivation. I needed a soulful top-up.
Self-care isn’t about taking take time away from reaching the end goal of solving x, y, or z, it makes sure you get there in the healthiest position possible. It creates checks, balances and actionable items for you to build yourself up with when the strain of what you’re working through wears you down.
It all starts with knowing yourself so that you can identify when you need to take some time to make sure you’ll be okay. The stress I’m feeling manifests itself physically through increased headaches, painful and tense shoulders/lower back, heart palpitations, irritability, poor memory, lack of concentration and disrupted sleep (no wonder I feel rundown). I took these physical symptoms seriously but also knew that my lack of energy and motivation would stymie any self-care efforts I wanted to undertake. Knowing myself meant I knew I had to start small and go from there. I started with just making sure I drank plenty of water. That was all I focused on for a couple of days. As I started to feel less sluggish I moved on to eating more fresh/raw food, taking Epsom salt baths to ease body tension, using a lavender essential oil diffuser at night to aid relaxation and sleep, setting aside time to read for a bit, etc.
Situations that cause stress in your life won’t magically disappear because you’re making time for some self-care habits, but it sure as hell will help you maintain a level of wellbeing that allows you to get shit done in a healthier way. It’s definitely working for me.
So, I’ll ask you again … what do you need right now?
Got any self-care tips? Share them in the comments section!