In 2013, when I decided to stop hitting my snooze button and put my fitness routine first in my day — before email, social media, or getting online — I took a stand for self-care.
Self-care is one of those terms that’s thrown around a lot, but doesn’t seem to have a concrete meaning for most people.
We seem to know we need it. Many people think they don’t have time for it. Others claim to be engaging in it.
But few can define it.
How do you know you don’t have time for it if you can’t define what’s involved?
How do you know you’re doing it if you can’t articulate what it’s about?
What does self-care actually involve?
There’s not just one way to define it. Lately, the way I have defined self-care is that it is any activity I engage in that meets one or more of the following criteria:
(1) Regulates the nervous system
Self-care is any activity that upregulates the parasympathetic nervous system and downregulates the sympathetic nervous system, also known as the “fight or flight” mode.
(2) Refuels energy
Any activity that helps me replenish my energy stores so that I can show up with greater presence and fully engage with the people I serve.
(3) Sets up future me for more success
When I engage in activities that create the conditions for future me to have greater ease and flow in my life, that’s self-care.
(4) Nourishes the soul
Anything that nourishes your soul, bringing a greater sense of purpose and meaning, is a form of self-care.
(5) Helps connect to deeper wisdom
Practices that help you connect to your deepest truths and wisdom are essential forms of self-care.
What criteria do you have for defining what activities fall under “self-care”?
What are your favorite forms of self-care?
Please share in the comments.