When we are feeling depleted and drained so many of us try and fill this void by seeking out validation from others or look for sustenance from extrinsic activities, not realising that to feel happiness and fulfilment we must look within and focus on the internal activities that bring us nourishment, joy and satisfaction.
We have grown up in a society that believes it is selfish to put ourselves and our needs first; we have this mindset A “good” person looks after others first.
Yet everyday there is more evidence showing the contrary. Studies are showing that when we look after our own wellbeing through Self Care we are not only serving our own wellbeing but we are also serving all those we come into contact with.
Why is self care so important?
Because not only does it refuel us, it also makes us feel whole and nourished. It helps us come into alignment with knowing what we need to fill up our inner well so that we can be emotionally attuned not only to our needs but the needs of others in a more compassionate and patient manner.
When we start to practice mindfulness, we start to realise that we have been using unhealthy self care practices like drinking, eating and shopping to drown our sorrows and numb our pain. We comprehend that the one glass of wine that use to make us feel good no longer works so we are now drinking four glasses of wine to get the same affect. Why? Because these practices only have short term benefits.
Once we understand the difference between a healthy and unhealthy self care practice we wake up to the reality that we need to make wiser choices about how to fill up our cups and be present with our emotions. We learn how to self-regulate without substance abuse or deflecting activities.
A Mindfulness meditation practice can be a useful way to help us reconnect with our self and help us remember what we enjoy doing.
As we begin to quiet the mind, we can ask ourselves with intention
‘What nourishes my soul?”
Then we sit back and observe what comes up in our thoughts, we listen with curiosity and openness and just be present with whatever presents itself.
Sometimes going back and reflecting on our childhood passions can help us remember what made us feel joy, what lit up our soul. If we can bring that spark back into our life and be childlike again, we can relearn how to be present in each moment, like a child is when they are playing or using their mind to be creative.
Think about when you were a child:
- Did you enjoy riding your bike?
- Going for a walk?
- Doing colouring?
- Playing with Lego?
- Solving jigsaw puzzles?
- Dancing and singing?
Or perhaps more recently you remember enjoying:
- Walking in nature,
- Sipping on a cup of tea,
- Reading a book,
- Listening to music,
- Sitting in the sun,
- Practicing Yoga or
- Having a bath with essential oils.
Whatever Self Care practice you decide to implement remember it’s about taking the time to do something nourishing for yourself – no hidden agenda or end goal – it’s just about being and filling up your cup.
If you are seeking nourishment with long term benefits for your mind, body and spirit then it is best to start a self care practice
It doesn’t matter whether you pay money and seek out alternative holistic ways to replenish, reset and rejuvenate your reservoir or just sit in the sun, with your feet in the grass drinking a cup of tea. All that matters is that you do it!
Written by Present Mindfulness Academy