I was recently asked this question “how much self-care is needed each day?” Which begs the question, “what is self-care?”
Before I share what the Holy Grail of Self-Care is, consider this – the self-care/self-improvement is a $4.2 trillion dollar industry globally. That equals a lot of marketing and messages driven at making you think you need to be a certain way, or do a certain thing.
Charlotte Lieberman, Harvard Business Review wrote “We are approaching the pursuit of work-life balance with the same obsessive (and oppressive) energy as we do our careers. Although the American Psychiatric Association reports that 39% of U.S. adults feel more anxious than they did a year ago”
Self-care is often associated with outer-body experiences…massages, fitness, facials…all things that have a “feel good” element and for the health of your body (and mind), are very important – but, on the topic of consistent, daily care; ‘outer-body’ self-care can also feel like just another thing, you have to do and when you get over-busy, it’s the first thing that goes out the window, right?
This feeling is perpetuated by advertising from the self-care industry, fitness photo’s on social media of how you are supposed to look and all those products you need, in order to be happy plus a plethora of apps and wrist watches to track your “self-care” progress…and that’s relaxing how?
The idea of what self-care is has become completely skewed!
Soul-care is taking care of your inner-body experience; your mental health, your emotions – how you feel…heart, mind, body and soul. Soul-care can be as simple as a shift in perspective, taking a deep breath – a time out, letting something go and saying “no” or “yes”, if it feeds your soul.
Soul-care is not another item on your to do list.
I once saw a sign that said “if you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?”
The same goes for your mind and the truth is, today’s busy culture coupled with the social conditioning of women, has led many women to living out-of-body and mind (disconnected and not present).
Women are rushing about, caring (over-caring for others), multi-tasking like no man could ever do, accomplishing a lot and also—very little of what your heart desires to accomplish; which leads to exhaustion, depletion, resentment and sacrificing the very things that build a foundation to healthy living, healthy working and moving your mission, your business and life forward with much more ease.
So, what is the HOLY GRAIL of self-care?
Holy Grail as you may know is the name of a legendary sacred vessel.
You are the holy grail – your body, your mind and your soul are your sacred vessel. This vessel, in order to thrive requires three types of care:
- Quieting the Mind (The key to inner peace)
When your mind is quiet, the body relaxes, stress subsides, and ease takes over. A quiet mind nourishes your body and supports your entire endocrine system (a network of glands in your body that make the hormones that help cells talk to each other). A quiet mind allows space for self-awareness and to discover why you are doing what you are doing, and where adjustments are needed for life balance and happiness.
- Nourishing the Body (Optimal health and energy)
When you eat foods that support health, energy, optimum weight and mental clarity, your sugar cravings disappear, bloating subsides, and fatigue is replaced with vitality (when combined with a quiet mind and happy soul). Along with movement of your body for energetic flow (chi), and muscle strength you become healthy and strong.
- Feeding the Soul (The secret sauce of happiness)
What makes you happy? How are you talking to yourself? What are you doing to prioritize yourself? When you treat yourself with compassion and care; your confidence increases, you feel joyful, happy and have energy and enthusiasm to make your desires and dreams become true.
What is the order of importance for these? That’s an individualized answer, but I will offer that from my perspective, oddly enough, given my background in nutrition…mental well-being is the absolute most important and most integral piece to a healthy body and a happy life.
The idea for the holy grail of self-care literally came out of thin air years ago while walking through the woods. I had ‘nourish the body’ completely dialed in…after all, I owned a nutrition store and was certified in nutrition consulting.
But my stress level was through the roof…driven by the hidden beliefs I had about what being a good mom, good wife, good friend, successful business owner and a good person was.
My mind was running like a crazed monkey, and my soul was starved for self-kindness. It didn’t matter how nutritious my diet was, without all three legs of the “holy grail”, this vessel called “me” toppled and spun into a puddle of tears, stress and frustration, very easily.
When I began to embrace the practice of sacred-selfishness (the practice of prioritizing self) self-care no longer became a “thing” I schedule in, it became a way of life.
So back to the question, “how much self-care is needed?” I’ll answer this with questions for you?
- What hidden beliefs are driving you?
- What can you do for yourself that doesn’t require extra time (hint…mind-sets and self-talk)?
- Are you prioritizing self, and if not, why not?
- Are you saying “no” to activities or people that does not serve your highest and greatest good? If not, why not?
- Feeling stressed – why?
- Feeling anxious – why?
Why would you ask yourself these questions? Because often, people are running around stating how stressed, anxious, overwhelmed and busy they are, and never pausing long enough to consider why and what can be done differently. Which leads to the last question…
Where are your opportunities for growth?
When you answer questions like these, perhaps with the help of a mentor (I know a good one ?) what was hidden becomes visible and no longer has a hold on you. You get your power back and hold the reins on your life!
One caveat…even with the elements of the holy-grail dialed in, at times, shit will hit the fan…it’s this thing called life – shit happens. But, when you are caring for yourself as if you are a sacred vessel (which you are) your resilience expands and you are able to navigate what life throws at you without sacrificing your well-being.
I’d love to know, what aspects of the Holy Grail of Self-Care resonates with you? Please post below!