The practice of self-care in 2020
Self-care is indeed a practice that must be done with some sustained effort. The society in which we live does not always teach us to take care of ourselves, to know and love ourselves, but rather to constantly surpass ourselves, to compete and possess more and more in an incessant race of materialism. Despite this, I believe that self-care is the basis of a happy and fulfilling life and that the goods we possess offer, at best, only temporary satisfaction. In fact, holiday greetings remind us of this every year: prosperity, yes, but above all health and happiness. Deciding to take care of yourself once and for all will have positive repercussions in all spheres of your life and in the lives of others. Isn't it exciting to know that we can improve the fate of our beautiful planet only by doing good things for ourselves? So let's get to work! With a sustained effort, self-fulfillment is quickly felt.
I told you it was a conscious decision associated with sustained practice and effort. The world we live in is anything but slow. Yet we must decide to slow down and understand that life can only be enjoyed if we do things slower. It's like eating and tasting rather than swallowing your plate in thirty seconds. To do this, give up cell phones and social media, take a walk instead of driving, give yourself a few minutes a day to do nothing and enjoy it, watch those you love a little more often and take the time to connect with those people you forget because they don't "fit" into your busy schedule and lifestyle. Slowing down unleashess the magic that surrounds us. We allow ourselves to feel things such as how precious, even grand, life is. Slowing down eventually plunges us into a state of gratitude. Like during convalescence when Illness forces us to slow down. When we heal we become moved by the fragility of life, we say thank you and then we forget. The purpose of slowing down is to see life with eyes full of love at every moment. It also allows us to increase our state of consciousness, for example to realize that the path we have taken so far is no longer suitable and that we should think of other avenues to regain the joy we have lost.
We are all connected and the great sages say so, our present actions echo in eternity. Deciding to shop responsibly means buying fresh, local, organic food and cooking it with ease. It makes all the difference to our health and well-being. The same goes for personal care products, household products and clothing. Choosing not to buy from stores whose practices are irresponsible and dangerous to humans and the environment is not always easy. We think that our wallet cannot handle choosing goods and products that can be more expensive. Yet it is important to make this effort. From experience, I can say that it is possible. The trick? Buy less, buy quality, buy the essentials, exchange, make your own, shop second hand. I told you, it's an effort but it becomes extremely rewarding. Encouraging companies that have great values is important for the collective well-being and for one's own.
Another way to practice wellness is to establish one or more rituals in your day. This can be as simple as lighting a candle at the end of the workday or before going to bed to end the day with a clear conscience. Keeping a journal for a few minutes in the morning, burning incense, setting the table with selected objects at dinner invites the celebration of life. Taking five minutes every morning to pamper your skin with beautiful natural products or making tea in the afternoon and enjoying it in front of your window without doing anything else but watching the trees and people passing by are all linked to self-care.
Taking care of your body
Let us celebrate our body -which is the vehicle of our soul. A healthy body is directly related to well-being. A sustained effort is once again important and definitely worth it. Training in a gym is not for everyone. There are many ways to take care of your body without having to put on your running shoes. Each one has its own demands. I'm one of those who don't believe that intense training and cardio are necessary for good physical health. I love walking and I do yoga daily. For those who don't like to exercise, you can do your stretching in front of Netflix. Five minutes a day can make a big difference to your health.
Watching ones thoughts
Well-being is not possible without a serene mind. Our head is our most precious possession. It is what differentiates us from animals because it is the head that makes the choices that define our lives. It is essential in this practice to remember the beauty and fragility of our passage on earth. Too often, we tend to ruminate on the bad news, disasters and bad things rather than the good. The media does not always help to celebrate life, the planet and those who inhabit it. What if we slowed down in our general consumption of news whether it be through TV, newspapers or social media. Getting involved in the community through volunteering or just talking to our neighbours brings us closer together and lessens our fears about life. Meditation is a great way to do ourselves a service. Again, it is an effort but it costs nothing and is extremely rewarding. Listening to videos about positive thinking, the power of thought, the expansion of consciousness is stimulating and encouraging. It is important to encourage yourself every day, not to be hard on yourself, and to repeat certain phrases like mantras: I am enough, I am worth it, I am loved, I am safe etc. Asking for help from mental health professionals the same way you go to the doctor is possible and I encourage you to do so. Over the years, I have done art therapy, therapeutic sessions with psychologists, hypnosis, personal growth classes and even sound therapy. These are avenues to be explored without embarrassment, simply to do oneself well and treat one's anxieties.
Self-care is a daily practice, in all sorts of ways, and it is to be discovered in joy. Our self is the most important thing we have. Not taking care of ourselves has repercussions on everyone. A fulfilled life is built through a fulfilled body, soul and mind. Have a good practice!