Recently I led our A Free Spirit Life Community in an 8-day self-care challenge.  The transformation over that extended week was powerful.

Today, I’d like to share a few tips from our first day’s lesson – The Mindset Shift – Nurturing Your Mind.

I’ll cover what self-care really means, why it’s so vital to living a healthy, vibrant life and how to start moving beyond blocks that come when fostering a self-care practice.

Also, I’d like to invite you to a free, LIVE video lesson I’m offering this Thursday, August 18th, Easing the Overwhelm.  In this one hour video lesson I’ll share my 5 C’s of self-care and explore how to feel more energized and excited about your life.  I’ll also explain my new Live Freely Circle in detail!

To enjoy this free class, simply join our A Free Spirit Life community on Facebook by clicking HERE.  Then stop by there on August 18th.

 

What exactly is self-care?

Self-care is something that:

  • reduces stress.
  • simplifies and brings ease to your life.
  • inspires creativity.
  • fills up your energy.
  • enhances your well-being.
  • replaces judgment with compassion.

Self-care is not just what you do, but it’s also how and what you think.

Changing the way you think about self-care helps you stay open to the possibilities in your life.  It allows you the chance to throw out the judgments and rules you’ve been carrying around in your head so you can start taking better care of yourself.  Noticing what you think  – about your own worth and self-care – helps set up a strong inner foundation that makes your self-care practices noticeable and lasting.

We all live busy lives.  As women, we tend to nurture our families, our work, our communities, usually at the risk of putting our needs at the bottom of the list.  It doesn’t matter if you have a family or not, you probably have a tendency to put everyone’s needs above your own.  What happens when we continue doing that over time is our dreams start collecting dust.  We become overwhelmed and depleted.  Our inner well of energy and creativity gets spent and our overall health is compromised.

Mindset Shift is Self-Care

We get so lost in the shoulds – how we think we should do things or we worry about what others think we should be doing. Becoming an observer of these shoulds that you think throughout your daily life is crucial to breaking free from the limited belief that self-care isn’t important.

If you don’t think your needs, passions and dreams matter, then you truly never will find the time to nurture them. If you think you should take care of everyone’s needs above your own, you’ll never find time for your own self-care.  If you wait for someone else to take care you your needs, it probably won’t happen.

The thoughts you think, feelings you feel and the actions you take (or don’t take) are keeping you blocked.

If you are consumed by living your life in shoulds, judgments and rules you’ve been conditioned to carry from your childhood or culture, you will remain in a place of depletion and overwhelm.

Becoming an observer of your thoughts is the very first step to becoming more open and compassionate when inviting self-care into your daily life.

Focusing on more positive thoughts that help you stay open, will lead you to the next crucial step, which is the awareness of loving yourself.  It is there, in the practice of self-love, where you’ll gain a better understanding that having a daily self-care practice is not only important, but is absolutely crucial as you create a life filled with more opportunity, more energy, more creativity, more connection and more joy.

Self-Love is Self-Care

So what really keeps us from taking good care of ourselves?  We know that eating vegetables, drinking water and exercise are all good for us, yet many of us experience quite a bit of resistance when trying to do it consistently.

Do you really think your needs matter?  Where do you put your attention and energy?  Do you feel a sense of kindness, compassion and love towards yourself?

Explore how you talk to yourself.  Are you caught up in mistakes made from the past?  Are you consumed by self-doubt, fear and worry?  Do you believe in yourself?  Do you let your lack of courage keep you from letting your voice and ideas out into the world?

Start by watching how your thoughts are keeping you stuck and practice self-compassion and kindness.

Slowing Down; Doing Less; Making Space is Self-Care

We live in a world consumed by keeping busy.  We are taught that being productive and successful in life means we must make more, do more, buy more and be more.  Check off the list and don’t stop because you must keep up in this fast paced world, or you’ll be deemed as unproductive, not good enough or even…lazy.

Self-care is practice in creating new healthy habits.  One important, healthy habit is creating space in your life for being – without feeling guilty about it.

We are good at the doing part of our lives as we fill up every last minute with activity, responsibilities and shoulds.

But what would happen if you found more of a balance between being and doing? What would your life look like if you slowed down and let go of trying to do so much? What would it feel like if you scheduled space for self-care practices like sitting in stillness, reading an inspiring book, sipping a cup of hot tea, walking in nature, meditating, practicing yoga, writing in a journal, connecting to your breath, self-reflection or simply doing something creative just for the pure enjoyment of it.

Are you obsessed with staying busy in your own life?  What does it feel like to move at a slower pace?  What activities or obligations could you let go of or say “no” to for a while so you can actually schedule space and self-care into your daily life?

Mind, body and soul care has to be made a priority in your life by actually scheduling it in your calendar – or you’ll always find something else to do instead.

Remember your needs are important and they matter.  Love yourself by nurturing your needs, too.  And schedule it in your daily life.

Embracing Imperfection is Self-Care

Let go of the idea that you need a perfect time and place for self-care.  You can connect with your breath for 30 seconds during your lunch break.  You can wake up 15 minutes earlier to stretch on your yoga mat.  Maybe your self-care for the day is simply drinking a few extra glasses of water.

Do things imperfectly for a while and notice how freeing that is.  You may have to say “no” to extra obligations.  You can’t be everything to everyone.  If you have to leave dishes in the sink longer than you’d like so you can rest and restore your energy – then do it. If you have to ask for help and not be the superwoman who’s trying to do it all – you must.

Embrace imperfection and you’ll start to become more aware of its beauty.

Choosing Mindfulness

Making self-care a priority in your life is about being more mindful.  Choosing mindfulness means you are willing to practice accepting your life as it is now.  You are willing to practice letting go of the past.  You are interested and excited to focus more on the present moment.

Put your focus on the here and now.  Walk forward mindfully with observation, awareness, kindness and self-love, and you’ll start to feel a calming effect take over.  You’ll be more in touch with the inner peace that is always with you, it’s just you’re often too busy to feel it.

Your Personal Reflection:

Explore your own thoughts regarding self-care.  What shoulds and rules are you living by? Are you ready to give yourself permission to enjoy this beautiful life of yours?  It starts with you and the way you take care of yourself.

To download free journal prompts and a personal soul care list, join our A Free Spirit Life Community Facebook page by clicking HERE.  Not on Facebook?  I’m happy to email you the PDF’s. Let me know here.

Make sure to stop by this Thursday, August 18th at 2 p.m. C.S.T. for my next free, LIVE video lesson, Easing the Overwhelm.  Can’t make it LIVE?  No worries, you can stop by anytime that day to watch the recording.

Be well, my friend, and keep taking care of…you. xo

love Shannon

 

 

Learn more about the Live Freely Circle.  The theme for September is simplifying, clearing clutter and making space for what matters most to you!

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