Posted on Aug 17, 2022



“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” —Jack Kornfield

Not just massages and manicures

Self-care is such a buzzword these days. Probably because we’re so used to our fast pace and general overload that it’s become a challenge to feel balanced, joyful, and content on the regular. 

What does it really mean to care for yourself? “Self-care” in our present culture can refer to anything from eating lots of chocolate to having a luxury spa day once a month. 

I would go further to ask, what does self-care that nurtures, heals, and sustains you look like? Is it even that important in your daily life? The short answer is YES, but perhaps not in the way popular culture would have us believe. Let me unpack this topic a bit further for you.

Self-care is an act of generosity and service to yourself…just like you might want to provide for a friend or loved one who is stressed or facing a significant emotional, physical, or relational challenge or loss. 

Let’s talk a bit about how you can discover what true self-care looks like for you, and how to implement it consistently so that you can see practical improvement in your mood, coping ability, confidence, or a general sense of well-being and “I’ve got this!” attitude.

Self-care is NOT selfish (it’s required for service and generosity)

Self-care is not selfish, it's self-honoring. It’s MUCH easier to be generous, empathetic, and positive when we have an overflowing cup of inner strength, joy, confidence, and resilience. Sadly, our society has us believing otherwise and you might feel at first that self-care is self-ish.

Think instead that self-care is like a cell phone charger, but for your wellbeing.

And that’s what true self-care does for you. A regular practice of caring for your body, brain, and spirit won’t take away every life challenge or hard spot, but it will resource you for when those hard times hit. So you can manage those losses and hardships and know that joy is never far away. 

And when you’re overflowing with contentment and calm, it’s a snap to be there for the people you care about when the need arises.

Reward or overindulgence?

While high-end chocolate and spa days may be a legitimate “treat” in the world of self-care from time to time, watch out for the line between reward and overindulgence.

If you find yourself going into debt with massages, feel guilty or even sick after taking in too much wine or food that doesn’t love your body, or putting your livelihood in peril by jetting off to the manicurist every week, you may be on track to create more problems than you solve with this attempt to self-soothe your stress.

True self-care goes a few layers deeper than the surface. Let’s look at how this new level of care could take shape for you.

Discover what pure nourishment is for you

Self-care means action on your own behalf to protect your wellbeing, especially during times of stress.

This means action that reduces your stress and enhances your calm, serenity, or lasting joy (not just the temporary “high” that might come from a “treat.”)

Going to the doctor, dentist, or financial advisor is all part of self-care. Hitting the grocery store for healthy food (vs. hitting the fast food drive-thru for convenience) is an investment in your support and authentic nourishment. Taking a mid-workday walk outside to clear your mind amidst the chaos of the to-do list is supportive of your productivity at work.

The three “Ms”

Movement, Meditation, and Mindset practices can be a wonderfully effective gateway to this deeper level of self-care. (Though certainly not the only way to craft a self-care practice that works for you. It’s always okay to take what you like and leave the rest.)

Connecting with your body, breathing, and thoughts helps you determine how to meet your legitimate needs with the actions that bring you lasting relief and other crucial benefits.

For a full explanation of these three pathways to self-care, I hope you’ll watch this short video, where I explain in detail how to connect with your body and brain as you develop your ability to respond to your needs. And stay tuned for a few more videos and articles in this series to give you more value and ways to support your self-care.

The *real* benefits of self-care: Self-trust and Self-Honor

Self-trust is a thing. When we don’t have it, we second-guess ourselves and often feel insecure or unworthy of goodness in our lives. 

True self-care can help us develop this piece of our self-confidence and self-awareness, which leads to deeper levels of wellbeing and contentment. 

Remember, self-care means responding to one or several of our legitimate needs. This action could be as simple as eating nourishing food when you’re hungry, and eating slowly and mindfully enough to notice when you’re satisfied—not over-full and uncomfortable.

It could be getting out for a brisk walk when you feel stirred up and agitated, or doing some gentle stretching and deep breathing when you feel exhausted and depleted.  It could even be as simple as being willing to excuse yourself from a meeting or conversation to use the restroom if needed. (I have heard from many clients who have been unwilling to speak up for themselves in just a similar situation.)

We can also practice self-care by reaching out to friends and family when we’re struggling or just need someone to listen to what’s going on in our lives. 

And when we do these little things consistently, we begin to trust that our needs matter and that we can meet them with even a small amount of attention and awareness. Which may be a complete turn-around from the way you were raised as a child.

When you trust yourself, you make self-honoring choices—another essential benefit of self-care. Self-honoring choices make you feel uplifted, satisfied, and cared for, not guilty, ashamed, or insecure. 

Like saying “no” when you mean no, and saying “yes” when you mean yes–in ALL areas of your life. Self-honor such as this can lead to healthy commitment and self-discipline, too. And those qualities breed balance, accomplishment, and satisfaction over time.

The Move and Meditate Program

Because I am so passionate about helping others develop their self-care practice and see the many benefits, I’m excited to offer a 6-week guided pathway toward self-care that feeds your foundation of wellbeing, contentment, and confidence.

I’d love for you to learn more about how we do this on our website.  When you click the link, you’ll discover all the details of how to “move beyond damage control and into whole body fulfillment and self-trust.”

Because that’s what REAL self-care does for you. It’s not a one-and-done, quick-fix. Effective self-care is truly transformational–helping you understand that you matter,  your needs are real, and you have the tools you need to meet them.   True self-care will help you evolve into the empowered full expression of yourself.

Remember to visit our website for all the details on how to make this level of self-care and transformation a reality for you. 

Take good care,