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What Is Self-Care and Why Is It So Elusive?

I often work with people who do not know how to do self-care or what it even is. The simplest definition of self-care is caring for yourself. I know… that’s a no-brainer. But if you ask individual people how they do their own self-care, you’ll get a ton of different answers. Some people won’t know what you’re talking about and you’ll probably get a long, thoughtful pause followed by an “I don’t know” with a shoulder shrug. Others will give you a variety of answers like running, taking long baths or showers, drinking a glass of wine after work, gardening, playing a sport, getting massages, listening to music, playing video games, and so on.

If you examine these ideas I presented above, you’ll notice every one is a bit different in what might be considered self-care. What’s even more interesting is that a self-care activity for one person is not enjoyable for someone else. So this starts to answer the original question of why self-care is so elusive. However, it is not the complete answer.

Knowing that self-care is very individual and personalized, we can understand why there is no absolute answer for everyone. But why do we frequently have a hard time finding what the right answer is for ourselves? Don’t we know ourselves better than anyone else? What makes it so difficult to implement self-care when we should know what we need?

Maybe that’s part of the problem – we DON’T know what we truly need. Let me ask you this: when was the last time you really paid attention to what gives you joy? I mean real, true joy. Not just a distraction or a mind-numbing activity. The kind of joy that fills your soul and makes your heart smile. I’ll give you an example. Whenever I hear one of my favorite songs on the radio, you better believe I’m turning that tune up and singing along. Listening to music gives me joy deep within my soul and is one of my small self-care activities I do regularly.

If you’re struggling with self-care, it might be time for you to examine what really brings you pure joy and happiness and begin incorporating those things into a self-care routine. A simple way to get started is to list out all five senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. For each of those senses, think of at least three things that you delight in. Set aside some intentional time to partake in treating your senses regularly. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, extensive, or elaborate – just something small can lift your spirits and fill your self-care tank a bit.

Please contact me through phone (720-381-2755) or email (tradewindstherapy at gmail dot com) if you are having a hard time with implementing an effective self-care routine. I’d love to help guide you in living the life you want to live!

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