The Art of Self Care

Peacock Dreaming

In recent years, there has been a tug-o-war going on inside my head in regard to the concept of self-care.

A feeling of guilt consumed me despite me knowing it’s my right to care for myself with love and kindness. Over the past five months or so, there has been a lot of healing taking place. And week after week I find myself calmer, stronger, more confident and far happier than I realise I’ve been in quite a while.

This morning, whilst looking through some photos I took last year I found a shot I had taken of my eyes. I remember at the time feeling shocked at how sad and tired I looked. There was a feeling of disconnection there too.

As I sat looking at this photo this morning, I decided to take an updated fresh-faced, shot of my eyes devoid of make-up. I placed those photos side by side and I was shocked. It was hard to believe it was the same person.

You’d think with losing 15 kilograms over the last three-and-a-half months my face would be more lined and aged. However, a few people have mentioned lately that I’m looking and acting at least 10 years younger. Something magical is happening!

Aware of my stress levels and blood pressure, I’ve been looking after myself – not just physically, but also emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially. My focus is to bring everything in my life back to a state of balance.

Physical Self

I once lived with someone who wasn’t good at taking care of himself. He thrashed himself, doing physical work far past the point of exhaustion, and he pushed himself way past the point of pain often to the extent he often felt unwell.

I followed his example for a while. Oh how I struggled. I constantly felt tired, bedraggled, and short-tempered. My stress levels were sky high. And they increased when we became reactionary and emotional over the simplest of things. Neither of us coped well.

We also sank into comfort eating. Too tired to prepare meals, I resorted to fat laden takeaway food. As my doctor had eloquently stated one day during a consultation, it was inevitable that I would “hit the tonnage”.

Over the past five months I’ve given myself permission to rest when I’m tired. I also take the time and make the effort to nourish my body in a healthy way that promotes physical wellbeing.

Over the past few months when I look in the mirror I see a content and confident person looking back at me. There is a renewed sense of wellbeing and vigour that encourages me to explore my physical identity and have fun with it.

Emotional Self-Care

Having given up the comfort eating habit, there is nowhere to hide when the tidal wave of emotions surface.

Giving myself permission to acknowledge and feel has been a big part of learning to let go. Previously I stuffed it down inside myself. In my head I had weirdly equated expressing my feelings with feeling them.

Over the past few months, I’ve given myself permission to ride the waves of feelings with awareness. I’ve allowed myself to acknowledge them in whatever form they surface whether they are good, bad or otherwise.

Before moving into my own space, I’d been anxious about how my emotions were impacting those around me. My own space meant I could let it all out.

Mental Self-Care

I’ve struggled with cyclical thought patterns. I’ve discovered a few wee tricks which help me out of this trap.

  1. Singing lightens me up and is a wonderful distraction.
  2. Focussing on learning how to play the guitar is something that puts me in a state of mindfulness. So does photography.
  3. Recognising the behaviours of other people are about their personal journey and not necessarily about mine. Responding with compassion and kindness to myself and others helps me clear mental crud.
  4. I have also found that energetically clearing emotional energy residue has also helped. It’s a matter of recognising it, asking for it to be sent up to the Universe to be converted to healing love energy and sent back down to all those who need it.

The more I observe my emotional self, the more self-aware I seem to be. As a result, I’m clearer as to what I’m responsible for and what belongs to others.

Spiritual Self-Care

My spirituality has always been very special to me. For many years my practice grew to be clandestine. However, it got to the point where I needed to honour it.

The moment I chose to stand up and be open about this special part of me, my connection to Spirit seemed to deepen. Even now as I write this blog article I can feel the familiar, loving presence of those in the spirit world that guide me.

Over the past few months, I’ve panicked and doubted myself. However that little voice deep down within me has been reassuring.

I’m back to meditating and connecting in pretty much daily. I’m also rediscovering how I’m of service to Spirit and how I’m going to facilitate healing in others. I now realise I’ve been in service the whole time. Without even realising it. You see, we are all facilitating healing in one another. It starts with all of us. We don’t need to try. We just are.

Financial Self-Care

Financial self-care is just as important as all of the others. It can be such a source of stress and upheaval. However, I’ve learnt some very valuable lessons over the past few months.

It’s natural to panic about instability and focus on financial lack. However, I needed to disengage from the cyclical thought patterns and enter a state of mindfulness.

Too much focus had been on perceived lack and the worst case scenario. Waging my way through the forest of fear precluded me from seeing a way forward.

I’m learning the art of patience. And I’m discovering it’s all okay. I have abundance. It’s the judgement I most fear and those bags of past judgement have been set down. I’m forging my way ahead on my own merits.

Finding Love, Joy & Peace

This time has challenged me immensely. I’m called upon to honour what I truly desire – joy, peace and love. My choices are the vehicle.

There are beautiful, fulfilling experiences on the horizon. I feel it… strongly. However, love, joy and peace are not just in my future. They are here in my present. I’m living them within my own person.

Lovitude Trying To Calm The Monkey Mind

Anne McCormack is author of the book, Lovitude: Trying To Calm The Monkey Mind and the award-winning, Peacock Dreaming: The Wisdom Of Flowers.

Feature photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Interested in more articles?  Check these out:

I’ll be Happy When

It’s All About Perspective

Endings & New Beginnings

Focus on the Moment, Not the Emotion

Adventure Into The Unknown

My Wish For You – Stepping Into Mindfulness

Making Me Happy!  A Journey Into Mindfulness

What Gratitude Has Taught Me

What Makes You Fizz?  Living Your Purpose

Connectedness & Support

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