Let’s be honest: Self-care looks different for everyone. As an educator I understand that every person has a different kind of learning style, as well as a varied approach to his/her holistic needs.
I am a person who moves A LOT; therefore in order to counteract the work that I do, I have to balance it out with some kind of constructive rest. In fact I literally have to force myself to stop moving. It is not easy for me.
In dance education we talk about how stillness is one of the hardest things to practice. To just be. Meditation, for example, takes serious concentration and mindfulness.
If you are someone whose work place forces you to sit in a chair all day, then of course you need to move more. That only makes sense. If you feel like you need to push yourself beyond exertion then great; I get it, because I do it often.
It’s all about balance.
It involves treating the whole person: mentally, physically and emotionally. I for one need to allow space to work through my emotions so that I do not carry them with me. If I do the emotional work now, I feel like it is less likely to come up later.
This can also be held in your body for months.
In the last year I had a back injury. One of my disks was protruding and nothing seemed to improve it. Nine months later, after extensive physical therapy and by doing yoga, I started to feel better. You know what else I was doing? Therapy. I’m convinced it was all psychosomatic. No kidding, the same month my divorce was finalized my back magically healed.
My body always knows before my mind does.
For example, I got physically ill the morning before I found out some terrible news. It’s all connected my friends. It just is. Mindfulness and somatic work, whether passive or active, are so important.
So what does self-care look like for you?
Well, my wedding anniversary would have been last week. Yup, sucky. Instead of being upset all day, I decided to fill it with everything that I love. I went on a hike with my mom, ate breakfast at my favorite spot, went to the pool, worked out with my brothers, and then I ended the day at an interactive museum in SLC (called @lovelettersmuseum), followed by some yummy food with a good friend who gets it.
That is self-care. It’s whatever you need to feel good, at that moment, to succeed and propel yourself through life. AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITHT THAT! It’s the things we do so that we can create balance and excel daily.
So if you need a damn latte to perk you up before work, go get one.
If you need a bath to soak your feet after a long workout and/or rehearsal, so be it.
And if you are the person who needs to climb a mountain to feel your best, then do that.
But to me it is narrow minded to assume that self-care looks the same for everyone.
Just listen to your body, and focus on what you need.
Again, my two cents.
All photos by Alexis Mease at @lovelettersmuseum