Recently, the concept of Self-Care has become apart of our cultural lexicon. There is no clearly defined definition, and is subjective to the person practicing self care. I’ve been practicing self care post healing from heart surgery two years ago. My journey to self-care came out of a post-surgery depression, one that many fall into after a difficult procedure. Little warning is given that following a big procedure, you can likely fall into a depression. You’re adjusting to new life, holding space for healing, and getting used to a new routine. Honoring self-care has truly impacted my life, and has allowed me to be the most healthy version of myself.
Self Care is simply what you make of it. There is no guideline, or specific rule to follow. Instead, it is about holding space for you to take care of your most important asset: Yourself. It comes in many shape and forms, and not everyone can dedicate an entire 24 hours to self-care, due to the fast paced nature of our society. Self care is all about finding and honoring what feels good, and what makes you happy, energized, and present throughout your weekly commitments.
Here’s what I’ve found to truly positively impact my week, and feel my best.
My self-care Sunday starts with a proper nights rest. I feel my best when I have had a good nights sleep, one that is uninterrupted and where I feel fully refreshed and rested. I try not to set an alarm, and allow myself to wake up independently. While this doesn’t always happen every Sunday morning, I honor the day by allowing myself to take time to rest – whether its relaxing on the sofa with a good book, or taking a power nap, feeling fully rested allows me to perform my best.
Once I am awake and have completed my morning ritual (meditation and journaling) I usually find myself on my mat for some Sunday morning yoga. This has become my form of spiritual practice, and I equate it to Yoga Church on Sunday mornings. Some days my practice consists of a heated Power flow, and others it is a calm, relaxing Vinyasa where I am 100% focused on linking my breath to movement. I usually practice 2 hours of yoga on Sunday’s, one class is a bit more active, and the other class is a bit more restorative. I find that this creates balance and clears my head space.
Part of my self-care routine is to start my morning with a meditation and journaling. I use several apps that offer guided meditations, so each day is different. Although every so often, I turn to my favorite guided meditations to really set the tone for the day. After meditating, I read Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart, which offers daily meditations or things to ponder. These statements help me align to my best version, and get me thinking about what matters most in my day. I then start to journal. I’ve been incorporating I AM statements into my journal every morning. For example, I will write:
These mantras become my guiding principles for the day. I also list out three things that I am grateful for. These typically include honoring my health, the people that have supported me that week, and anything else I find joy in.
My final step in my Self-Care Sunday is meal prep. I brave the grocery store on Sundays because I enjoy the energy of the community, people watching, and have made this apart of my weekly routine. I try to find a new recipe to try that week, so will come to the store prepped with my list of ingredients. I focus on the necessities, and treat myself to seasonal fruits and veggies (hi, peaches)! Then I spend my afternoon and evening prepping my meals for the week. I’ll cut up my veggies so they become an accessible snack, and plan out my lunches so that I am not tasked last minute with scouring through the fridge to bring something to work.
The beauty with establishing a self care routine is that you can make it your own, and it doesn’t have to be on a specific day of the week. When we honor ourselves, we can show up for others by being our best version. Self Care doesn’t need to be stressful, or an item on your to-do list. It is simply about showing up and dedicating the time to unplug and find joy in the things you like to do.