Self-care is a sensual delight. A wave of satisfaction goes through our physical bodies when we do it right. It feels so good to get that good night’s sleep, to be clean and relaxed from a hot soak, to eat that healthful meal. It’s a reward in and of itself.
Although we know this, we may sometimes still treat it as a chore. We plough through a routine, just to get it done. We wolf down our meal without tasting it, while ruminating on what we’re going to do when we finish. We trudge through a workout, criticizing our bodies, cutting corners to get it over with. And that good night’s sleep? Even when we’re technically sleeping, we may not descend into the deep sleep we truly need, if we take worries and angers to bed with us.
Part of effective self-care is managing mental states. We do our rituals in part to heighten our mental powers and stay emotionally stable. Feeding care to our bodies, and our circumstances, does indeed feed our minds as well. But we can also approach the situation from the other side–we can make our self-care rituals the time to be in the moment and rest our minds. It’s also prime time for making one of the most powerful mental shifts–being in our bodies.
Really chew and taste that meal. Feel the textures of the food in your mouth, smell the aromas of real, nutrient dense food, and notice the riot of color in the leaves and roots of your salad. Instead of just noting a slight degree of emotional relief as you start shoveling–just before your mind slips into its worry loop–notice how the food feels in your stomach, and how it makes your body feel. As you apply that cream to your skin, allow an energy circuit to form between your hands and skin.
Self-care time is self-connection time. Take the opportunity to connect deeply.