The art of self-care is taking care of our own health and wellbeing., before we give ourselves over to helping others. Sadly it’s often seen as a luxury and not a priority. Yoga is a fantastic way to bring in more self-care practises, check out my blog post on Yoga for Self-Care.
According to 5-Element Theory we have entered the season of late summer. This mini-season runs from the August full moon, until autumnal equinox at the end of September. Late Summer is a kind of in-between season. It encourages us to let go off the fire element and joy of summer. Then we begin to prepare to enter autumn and the metal element.
Late summer is associated with the earth element and is characterised by two practises we can adopt – routine and self-care. With this in mind, I have decided to spend September focusing on self-care and on establishing positive routines. These will aid the transition into the more yin seasons of autumn and winter.
I love this time of year. It seems like the world is changing in front of our eyes. As we watching trees morph from the leafy green of summer into the reds, oranges and browns of autumn. The whole world feels alive with colour and nature is so beautiful to watch in its transition time.
However, the move towards winter can be challenging and possibly more so this year. Summer and the fire element are associated with heat, socialising and joy. For many of us our summer did not contain these aspects. We may even feel that we ‘missed out’ on something. The earth element can help us to ground and reset. Providing us with a massive boost, heading into the autumn and winter.
So what exactly is ‘self-care?’ and how can we do it correctly?
According to the Self-Care Forum, self-care is part of a continuum which ranges from our daily choices to major professional care for trauma. At the self-care end of the continuum we have lifestyle choices and the management of minor ailments. They define self-care as being actions taken by individuals which help them to ‘protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness.’
Seems quite straightforward when we look at it this way, right? But how many of us actually dedicate time in our week towards taking care of our own needs?
This is where establishing a routine comes in helpful. We can begin to make better choices and learn how to say ‘no’ to things that don’t add to our overall wellbeing (within reason, of course!) So maybe we begin with a list, of all the things we enjoy doing that make us feel replenished and restored.
My list might look something like this:
A walk in nature (with Jackson, of course)
Eating healthy, tasty food
Why not create your own list and start to incorporate more of these activities into your week? I like to sit on a Sunday, after I’ve sorted out my breakfasts and lunches for the week, and I plan out my time. This includes the workouts I am aiming to complete, appointments I have and of course fitting in some self-care. I know I’ll feel better if I prioritise myself, and if I write it in my diary then I’m less likely to forget.