The Art of Self-Care

Despite taking the flu shot, I still fell victim to the nasty flu. It started on Monday with a sore throat and then,as Tuesday passed, I started feeling progressively worse. The funny thing about this is that, despite having chills and body aches, I was so irritated that I was sick. As I texted back and forth with my one of my friends, I lamented, "I really don't have time for this. I have too much to do and I just don't have time to be sick."  Silly, right? Not today, Illness, come back when I have less on my plate. My friend instructed me to "go home and rest". I was irritated to say the very least. By the time I got home on Tuesday, it was hard to move. I was literally trembling. I was freezing and my fever was up to 102. I had no choice but to relent and lay down.

Last week, I had a similar experience of neglecting my basic needs. I was beyond exhausted but as usual, I had too many things to do. I didn't want to lose out on an evening to make a dent in my to-do list. However, when I sat down to attack the first item, I simply did not have the energy to move, let alone, be productive. Needless to say, the art of self-care is a concept I desperately need to employ on a regular basis.

I think the key to self-care is listening to what you need because sadly when you push yourself to the edge, the result can be a detrimental situation. There are levels to self-care. The most basic level is heeding your body's needs. Sleep, rest, relaxation, nourishment, exercise. Then, there is a self-care that really speaks to maintaining your zen. Listening to your gut and following through on what you need and resisting what you don't. Yes, you love your friend and agreed to participate in x,y,z event but fast-forward to the day of and now you don't feel so great and you would much rather relax at home than be out and about. Self-care is acknowledging and following through on those feelings that push you closer to where you need to be. Self-care is recognizing when a relationship or a situation no longer serves you and taking the imperative steps to move on. It's the consistent method by you which you make sure to take care of your needs and stop sacrificing yourself for the comfort of others. 

The deeper level of self-care is a relative new for me. I think it's definitely habit forming and the more I do the things that make me happy and stop putting myself last, the more I am encouraged to continue doing so.

Do you have a  self-care tip you'd like to share?