Tomorrow begins another round of Self-Care September here at Soul Fitness Coaching. I always look forward to this dedicated month of practicing acts of kindness and respect towards myself because I recognize how significantly the consistency helps me live a happier, smoother, more productive life.
I sincerely believe that self-care - defined for our purposes as intentionally making one's own health, safety, and livelihood a priority on a physical, mental and emotional level - is a fundamental piece of overall wellness. I also believe practicing self-care should feel empowering and encouraging, not daunting or exhausting. It's an opportunity, not an assessment. We get to do this, we don't have to.
For all its charm, I also believe that to truly reap the benefits of caring for yourself, it's important to acknowledge and understand what self-care is not.
Self-care is not a one-stop shop, a cure all, or a fix for everything under the sun that ails you.
Self-care is not a magic wand - soaking in a bubble bath with a face mask, mood lighting and calming background music isn't going to erase trauma you've experienced or struggles you are facing. Decluttering your closet won't make unjust social policies change. Repeating positive affirmations in a mirror won't make you immune to heartache. Drawing a boundary to protect your time isn't going to suddenly mean the energy vampires in your life will honor it.
You still need to show up and play the game. You still need to do the dirty work. You still need to deal with the issues at hand. Self-care does not alleviate you of this responsibility but it can arm you with the confidence and wherewithal to persevere when it feels like the road is long. And that road can definitely feel long because it is long, you and I both know that.
Self-care will not protect you from the weight of the world but it can make you more capable of carrying it with grace, grit, and gratitude.
Self-care isn't fluffy or trite or a cute way to pass some time on a Sunday afternoon. It is choosing a particular way of life. Your self-care routine is the stage you set for the production of your entire existence to play out one breath at a time.
We don't engage in a self-care practice as a replacement for tools like therapy or medication; rather, we learn to recognize how going to therapy and following your doctor's orders are actually intelligent forms of self-care.
By choosing to honor yourself in a multitude of small but mighty ways on a daily basis, you send a big reminder message to both yourself and the world at large that you are a valuable human being worthy of love, care, and respect.
How you spend your days is how you spend your life, so I lovingly invite you to spend your September building some strong, steady and spectacular self-care habits with me.
It's going to be a good month. We begin tomorrow!
I love you and will see you real soon!