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Do you have a self-care practice?  What does self-care mean to you?

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I am not an expert but to me self-care means:

  1.   Carving time out to do something for yourself every single day.
  2.   Taking care of your mental health.
  3.   Taking care of your physical health.
  4.   Taking care of your spiritual health.

It has only been in the past couple of years that I developed and embraced a self-care practice. I can tell you about mine and what has worked for me.  I am constantly revising it and going with the flow but at the core, for me, is meditation.  Meditation has changed my life.  That’s a whole post in itself which I will do one day soon.

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Having a select few people in my life that I can be myself with, my true UNEDITED self, is super important to me.  If I’m having a bad day I want to be able to say that I’m having a bad day and not be judged for it.

I take a hot bath every night as well. Sometimes I listen to relaxing music or a guided meditation while soaking. I was treated to some Lush bath bombs for my birthday which I really enjoyed. I am going to try making some of my own. I also use aromatherapy. Love it in the bath.

I love a massage too. Self massage is good also. Just stretching, or using a roller ball massager or having my hubby rub my neck is even nice.

If I am having a busy day I will sometimes even just pull over (I am a home health nurse with a lot of hours in the car) and listen to a song I like.

The key is to be IN THE MOMENT with whatever it is you are doing for yourself. Nothing will work to fulfill the human need of recharging, energizing, resting or just loving and caring for yourself if you aren’t immersed in it. It could be a drinking a cup of tea or coffee, if done when fully present, that could be a little self-care.

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Having a hobby or two helps also.  For me it is amateur photography and having fun in editing programs, petting my dogs, napping (don’t laugh- it helps!) and blogging (Pinterest, WordPress, etc).  My husband and I are also movie buffs.  I’m talking Netflix here.  In our pajamas.  With popcorn.  In bed.  With our doggies to cuddle.  Total relaxation mode without any phones or other distractions.  Last spring we also took up hiking.  There is nothing better than getting out into nature!

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I’m pretty much in kindergarten when it comes to self-care. I wish I had started sooner but am thankful for starting at all.  I know there are still many people out there, especially caregivers, who do not have a self-care practice.

If there is one thing I hope to accomplish with this blog it is to inspire others to practice self-love and self-care.  If you have guilty feelings about doing something just for you, which I know and understand that many people do, you are not alone.  I try to take the Buddhist approach which is basically that by being loving and kind to myself I am benefitting all of those whom I come in contact with.  When we are content, thankful, happy and healthy, we are full of joy and able to give love more freely.  We become more patient and kind.  We benefit others by our example.

Remember: self care is NOT self-ish.  There is a huge difference.  I hope you will do something to refuel, recharge and uplift yourself today, no matter how small.  Take a few moments without any other distractions to take care of and love yourself!  Let me know in the comments what your self-care practice involves.  XO, Chris

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