How fortunate are we, who live right now, in this information-rich age. There is so much material available on the internet – the world is literally at our finger tips – but often we have to wade through a lot of muck to get to the really useful bits – the true – the reliable.
It applies to news and what we now commonly refer to as fake news – but nowhere is this more prevalent than in the area of self-development.
This morning I want to talk about what we commonly call self-care.
It’s a topic we often consider here – and yet I feel we need to take a fresh look at it.
I’ve seen a lot of things recently about what people are calling ‘serious self-care’ or self-care for the not so faint-hearted. Some of what I have seen is really important – a call to go further, deeper, more meaningfully into caring for ourselves. I have read some really interesting articles and many have made me stop and think but I have noticed that many of the things I have come across, while true to a certain point, also carry a subtle dig, if you like, at what is considered then to be pathetic attempts at self-care – things like getting a manicure, or buying oneself flowers. The suggestion is that this is a kind of namby-pamby self-care – not deep, not real, not significant.
This is where I have a problem.
To me, self-care is at its very roots all about being kind to ourselves. And there is no limit, level or scale in that.
Many of us have had to learn how to care for ourselves when self-care has been a foreign and quite alien process for us. Many of us are still learning. We have been strangers to the concept and like with all things, we have to start small. We start with the simple and easy things and no one has the right to undermine this starting place.
When I first heard about self-care I had no idea where to begin.
I made myself a very simple and basic list – and it was truly very basic. In fact, at first, I had no clue where to start and everything felt like a crazy struggle. Trying to come up with things that I liked or wanted felt quite overwhelming.
I took myself out for a coffee once in a while. I went for a walk without the children. I bought myself a magazine I liked to read. Some of the things I listed then make me laugh when I read them now – they are so incredibly basic – but this is how it should be! That’s what growing up is all about.
Self-care should grow and evolve along with us – like every aspect of our growing, recovering life. But this one simple fact remains – there is no right or wrong – there is no superficial and deeper – there is no basic and advanced – there is one simple thing – that our practice of self-care is about showing kindness towards ourselves.
So, if you want to use some hip terms – perhaps we can talk about solid self-care. Self-care that is about considering our lives from a holistic perspective. Self-care that attends to our whole person – our social, mental, spiritual, physical and emotional needs. Self-care that considers all that we need in every aspect of our being. We can consider all these things and why not – but let’s not make the mistake of over complicating what is essentially such a very simple concept.
Are you being kind to yourself?
Below is a series created for the Recovery Helpers app (available on iTunes) a few suggestions that might spark ideas for the things YOU need....use it as a guide on the days you feel unable to even think of something that might make you feel loved. Add your own ideas to it, make it personal, make your own lists. Start today to make self-care an every day experience in your recovering life.
♥ ~ Sue
© 2017 Susan Parry-Jones