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Self-Care v Self-Care

The dictionary says that self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health and it is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

For quite a while now I have been practicing self-care. It was a gradual thing. I didn't even realize that I was doing it. But, suddenly I was slowing down. Not in a bad way. I didn't feel sick or anything. Let me explain. I am the type of person who likes to move. I want to always be doing something. I love living life. I hate naps and I don't sleep many hours during the night. I wake up without an alarm clock. I felt like sleeping was a waste of time, so I was always up and out. My day usually starts at about 5:00 a.m. So when I found myself spending a lot of time at home, either in my rocking chair, or stretched out on my chaise lounge reading, writing, watching television or just chilling and listening to music it was a gradual thing. I found that when I had a choice of going out or staying home, I was choosing staying home more often.

I usually thought of self-care with getting my facials, my massages, my mani/pedi. Those type of things. But during my resting, I came to realize that self-care meant so much more to me. I found that self-care was saying no to situations and people that served no purpose to me. It was not going to events out of a sense of obligation. I stopped listening to negative conversations from family and friends. I no longer felt a sense of responsibility when a family member or friend made a bad decision and had to suffer the consequences. I used to be real nosey and wanted to always know what was going on with other people. Not any more.

But during this time I started listening to my heart. I listened to my body and when I feel tired I lay down. I realized that I used to think getting tired and taking naps was a sign of weakness, a sign of getting old. I now know that sleep is so important. When I am well rested I am more creative, I have more clarity. I am more patient. I also do a lot more reading. I spend a lot of time doing nothing, which is new for me. I look out my window and just admire the billowy clouds. I often find myself taking pictures of them. I take a lot of warm, relaxing baths. I realized that self-care for me is doing what makes me feel good, whether it is doing nothing or doing an activity. I asked a few other women what self-care meant to them. Here are there responses.

Maintaining health via working out M-F...Linda

Understanding in order to care for others I need to take care of me too. Eat right, sleep, work out...LauraAnn

Taking a self day each week and saying no without guilt...Latishia

Checking in with myself on a daily basis. Down time to decompress. Do something I enjoy. Taking care of my health. connect with people and things that nourish my soul. Also make sure I'm giving back...Jacqui

Taking action to improve my health first, then you can do for others. Self-care first...Brenda

So as you can see self-care is way more than getting that mani/pedi. It is a total lifestyle.

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