Good morning, friends! It’s Day 2 of the Self-Care Challenge!
So yesterday the challenge was to reframe our vision of what self-care is — to put away any guilt or negative thoughts about taking time to care for our own needs. To give ourselves permission to practice self-care.
Now that we’ve said “yes!” to self-care, today we’re going to take a look at our lives and evaluate our needs. We said yesterday that self-care is the act of both recognizing and tending to my own needs by intentional acts that nurture my whole person.
I like to think of our needs falling into three categories. Humans are body-soul composites, and speaking simply, “soul” kind of means our minds and our hearts together. So I like to say that we have three categories of needs: physical needs — those of our bodies; mental needs — those of our minds; and spiritual needs — those of our soul.
Ideally, we want to practice holistic self-care (I just made that up, I don’t think that’s really a thing. But I like the way it sounds.) 😉 “Holistic” meaning whole person self-care. So tending to the needs of every part of your person.
There will be seasons of life when one “part” of you will need more nurturing than other parts. Like, for example, after the birth of a baby, your physical needs are extremely dominant. You’re desperate for sleep, your body needs to heal from pregnancy and childbirth.
In this example it’s pretty obvious what your self-care goals should be, right? Sleep. Rest. Eat nourishing foods. Shower when you can. 😉
But sometimes our needs are more subtle. I’ve had some pretty big wake up calls showing me how desperately I need to to get serious about self-care. One that stands out was a few years ago.
I had just had my third baby, and I was in the throes of my third go-round with postpartum depression and anxiety. [Yeah. So not fun.] My husband was on the night shift, and I had a newborn. It’s pretty safe to say that was a time in my life that I don’t care to repeat.
Even though I was suffering mentally, tI felt this crazy obligation to get. it. all. done. I would cook and clean and do laundry. And take care of the baby and the toddlers. And then I would crash and burn.
I had no concept of taking care of myself. I didn’t see reality — that I couldn’t keep going at that pace. I had this false notion that to be a good wife and mom, I had to put myself last all the time. The thing is, no one told me this. No one imposed this idea on me. To this day, I’m not really sure where that conviction came from.
But it almost ruined me. I had to learn the hard way that self-care was not optional. It took my anxiety and depression reaching epic levels for me to actually see the truth. Finally, after some very frank conversations with loved ones, I decided to make a move towards genuine self-care — and made an appointment with a therapist.
And let me tell you, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself in my whole life.
So, recognizing our needs is something that can take some work. But we have to know them before we can truly embark on a road of nurturing ourselves.
So for today’s Challenge, let’s evaluate our lives so we can identify our needs.
Remember our three categories: needs of the body, of the mind, and of the soul.
What does your body need right now? It could be something as simple as a nap once a week. Or maybe getting a sweet tooth under control (ahem, that may or may not be me). Or perhaps you haven’t had a physical in a long time — get yourself checked out and make sure that you’re healthy. Maybe more exercise, or a gym membership, or just taking a walk outdoors every evening. I have more ideas in your Workbook!
Now, what does your mind need? Mine craves stimulation! Like adult conversation and good books and not just 531 readings of Brown Bear Brown Bear. 😉
How about your soul? Maybe Adoration once a week. Or reading the Gospel everyday. Or developing deeper friendships with women who can laugh and cry with you and lift you up.
So today, spend some time looking at your life and the deficits you see in how you care for yourself. Write them down. Then write down the “remedy,” if you will.
So for instance, right now in my life, I have a huge sleep deficit. So the remedy to that problem is to schedule in a daily nap, or to make an earlier bedtime.
Also, try not to think about how in the world you’re going to ever going to do all of the things that you discover that you need! We’ll work on a plan for that later. Just for today, be aware of the needs.
Come share your thoughts on the Facebook page or write them in your Workbook, or both! 🙂
Thanks, mamas, and see you tomorrow.