Self-care is such a buzz-word these days. I am grateful for it, because I feel like women are finally giving themselves permission to honor and acknowledge their needs. However, I prefer the word soul-care because I feel like when I am talking about my soul, I am talking about who I am in my entirety. I am talking about not just what my body needs, but what my heart, my mind, and my spirit need. I am talking about honoring my wholeness. Self-care is not just pedicures and manicures and massages, but also the creation of a community for ourselves, feeding our minds by getting clearer on our philosophies about life, spending time in nature to remind ourselves of the connectedness of everything.
I also understand how difficult it can be to do this. Most women tend to take on that role as a nurturer and provider of support. We work inside or outside of the home. We make sure the children are fed and the homework is done and that their clothes are clean. We want to maintain a loving connection with our partner so we read books with them and set up date nights. Then of course, we sleep. There is never enough coffee. If we are not mindful, this is when burn-out can start to overcome us. Who and what we love so much—our work, our partners, and our children—are no longer beacons, but weights. Weights we no longer have the energy to carry.
It really is that cliché of putting on your oxygen mask first. It is impossible for us to care for others if we are not taking the time to care for ourselves. And I believe it is possible, if we re-frame the ways in which we create that space. Soul-care doesn’t have to be a whole day away from the family (although some days that might be exactly what we need!).
Now that I know how I want to feel this year, I want to look for little pockets I can fill with nurturing goodness—maybe a text conversation with a good friend? Or maybe on Saturday afternoon I will get creative in the kitchen and prepare a lunch that makes me feel full and nourished. Tonight is there time for a long bath? I’ll plan ahead for an easy Sunday potluck with friends. If I wake up ten minutes earlier, will that give me enough time to meditate? Maybe, instead of wearing something that just feels comfortable, I’ll put on something that makes me feel radiant. Yes. I think that is what soul-care looks like for me.
Where can you can find the little ways to care for and feed your soul?