There is a myth that self-care is only about weekends away, long hot baths, facials and massages. Sure, they are part of it. Self Care is also about doing the hard work. Brené Brown says
“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we will ever do.”
For example, sitting and self-reflecting on your day, week or month or maybe the interactions you’ve had with those around you. It’s about asking yourself some hard questions and noticing what’s happening for you. You might ask yourself “does something feel good and make sense?” “Does something feel ‘off’ about my week?” “What do I want to do more of?” “What do I never want to do again?” “What was hard and good at the same time?” “What is my gut, my intuition saying about this week?”
In her book Rising Strong, Brené Brown talks about the steps to rising strong and the first one is what she calls The Reckoning. This is about noticing what’s happening for you and learning about how you feel and integrating your emotions, thoughts and behaviours.
Emotion: Ask yourself “What do I feel in my body” – do you have clammy hands, racing heart, sore neck, headache etc?
Thoughts: Then notice what you’re thinking in a given moment. Ask yourself “what thoughts are looping in my mind?” ‘What am I thinking?”
Behaviour: Finally ask yourself “what did I do?” “Did I run away?” “Did I yell at someone?” “Did I breathe and listen carefully?” “Did I care for myself and go for a walk?”
These questions can help with self-reflection and becoming more aware of what’s happening for you. They also help you to integrate your whole being in any given moment, interaction or situation that happens in your day.
I always say “awareness is the beginning of change.” Self-reflection is a step towards that awareness and that may be the beginning of change for you and your life. If something doesn’t feel right, change it. Sit in the discomfort of exploring how it could be different. Ask for help. Talk to a friend, family member, colleague or counsellor.
When we sit and self-reflect, we are choosing to be courageous and vulnerable to own our story and accept that something isn’t OK; or to express joy and happiness that something is amazing! Both sides of that emotional spectrum can feel vulnerable, it’s also really courageous to acknowledge it.
Value yourself by choosing to self-reflect this week. You may be surprised by the gems you learn about yourself.
Take Care on the Journey!