When you hear the phrase “self-care,” what comes to your mind?

You might think of something like getting plenty of rest, drinking water, or having a massage. All good things of life!

But you need to look after yourself in lots of ways, and self-care is much more than spa treatments. For sure!

I sometimes say that you are your greatest security. You have to have confidence and belief in yourself.

After all, you are the most important person in your world. Not so?

Therefore—how will you care for yourself?

From Autopilot to Intention

Much of our self-care is on autopilot. Unless we’re so extremely depressed, most of us don’t forget to take a shower. Even if we have bad diet habits or poor sleep, we still eat and sleep sometimes.

Because those patterns are somehow hard-wired in us, however, it’s easy to miss lots of other things.

That’s why self-care has to become intentional. Simply put, you need a plan for looking after yourself. A nice plan!

Back to the Plan: A Simple Question to Always Start With

A critical part of modern self-care is by understanding what you need. You can do this right now. Just ask yourself: what would make me feel better?

Because you can always be better than you are right now, you don’t have to be feeling bad to answer this question.

Still, most likely you’ll find yourself reflecting on self-care when you’re not feeling great for one reason or another.

When that happens, sometimes the best answer is an action:

  • Go for a walk

  • Clean up your calendar or to-do list, removing unnecessary items

  • Do something fun (whatever “good fun")

  • Make a short gratitude list

Other times the answer is to reflect outward:

  • What’s a simple thing you can do to help someone else? Amazingly, this often contributes to you feeling better.

  • Who might need something that you can provide?

  • Who can you check in on?

Finally, sometimes the answer is just to sit with it.

  • Acknowledge that these things happen and it’s normal and that nothing lasts forever.

That last point is worth repeating: nothing lasts forever, everything is temporary. This too shall pass.

Remembering that fact should help you to navigate several dark seasons of your life.

Even though life is a constant work in progress, try to prioritize self-care. Try to ask yourself what you need and how you can be better than you are now.

Take care of yourself over there!

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