“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” - Buddha
In the World today we often find ourselves trapped in the routine of what I like to call “busyness”. We start the day by hitting the ground, running. Rushing to get ready for the day ahead, barely taking a breath to stop. Driving with haste to get to work or class, maybe even letting off some steam with a few choice curse words. We skip lunch, because of that deadline that’s due. Now you’re headed home in rush hour traffic, thinking about dinner, but you’re too tired to cook. Dinner is rushed and next thing you know, you’re in bed scrolling through Facebook and Instagram looking at the day your friends and family had, all the while wishing you had a life again...
Routines are easy to fall into. A lot of what routines are, is safety. The majority of us operate in a fight-or-flight nervous system. The purpose of this is to keep us safe and alive, it’s all about survival. So how much of your daily routine is based in fear? Fear isn’t a bad thing, as many would have you believe, instead it’s actually how you’re sitting here today reading this blog. Fear kept you alive. It helped you adapt and change, it helped you survive. The problem with staying in this fight-or-flight state is that it’s only meant to be temporary, long enough to fight, run, or freeze.
As a Holistic Life Coach and Massage Therapist I often find myself using the same metaphors and analogies in my discussions about Self-Care. In life we can think of ourselves as a cup of water. If you pour your water into other people, places, and things you will be left dry and empty. If instead, you fill your cup first and give what spills over, everybody wins. This is easier said than done. First you must understand and know your worth and value. In reference to Massage, can you give yourself one hour a month? Are you worth $50-$100 a month? Hopefully, you say, “yes”. These are just a few examples of questions you can ask yourself.
We’ve all read the blogs, watched the YouTube videos, and took the salt bath that was supposed to instantly affirm our Self-worth, but what now? Are you still in that unhealthy relationship? Still working that job you hate? Why? What did we do wrong?
1. Let’s start with defining what Self-Care means for you. Only you know what will work in order to take care of your own physical, mental, and emotional health. For example, taking a salt bath isn’t self-care when you’re doing it to dissociate or distract yourself from a problem or situation. What I’m trying to say is that self-care isn’t always a spa day and a bubble bath. Work must be done.
2. Why aren’t you already making yourself a priority in your own Self-Care? Look at the excuses that you come up with when you ask yourself these questions. Is it time? Is it money? Do you feel guilty? Often I find the answer to these questions are just excuses that we use to reinforce our own victim consciousness. A martyr, for example, is actually the victim in disguise. It’s the I can’t do this, this, and this for myself because, I do this, this, and this for everyone else. In order to be of greater service to our friends, family, and work we must be complete. Our cup must be 100% full. How can you fill up your own cup first?
3. What daily activities do you find bring you joy and happiness? If taking that salt bath brings you peace, relaxation, and restores your energy, then by all means get salty! Maybe saying “No” more often, makes you realize that you have more time and energy to devote to your own joys. Follow YOUR happiness, it is your own compass.
4. What Self-Care activities can you incorporate into your current routine? For example, instead of reaching for your cell phone to check your emails and look at social media first thing in the morning, try listing three things that you’re grateful for. Take a deep breath and show appreciation for a new day. Breathing and gratitude are free, easy, and can be done anywhere and at any time.
5. Affirm your worth! You deserve it. Lovingly take care of yourself. Fill up your cup. Be your own best friend. Only you know what’s best for you. What can you do RIGHT NOW to affirm your worth?
Breathe...and really reflect on the questions asked throughout this blog
Chase Hyson, LMT