Self-Care, Mindful-Awareness, Gratitude, and Pumpkin Pie
I was having a conversation this morning about two of my (many, many) favorite topics: mindful-awareness and self-care. The discussion was about how we have done certain self-care activities for such a long time, but for one reason or another, because they had become habitual and normal part of day-to-day life, those activities seem to be excluded from the self-care category. Which brings in the important question of what actually is self-care?
This question we each have to answer for ourselves and is different for everyone. What activities do you do that makes you feel better—or maybe “less bad”—than you did before you did them? These activities can be big and require time, money, and energy like going for a spa day, or they can be simple and seemingly small like glancing at the affirmation you wrote down on the lime green sticky note you put up on your mirror a year ago. Or by acknowledging and giving thanks for what you are grateful for in our lives.
Writing or verbalizing what we are grateful for in our lives has been shown to increase positive mindset and improve mental wellbeing. The more detailed the better. For example, saying “I’m grateful for my friends” is wonderful. Identifying why you are grateful for your friends—including fun memories with them, the positive feelings you have from those memories, etc.—is even more powerful magic.
Whatever the self-care activities are that support and nurture you, having mindful-awareness of them (like you may be experiencing now reading this post) in general, in the moment or even afterwards can ramp up the positive effects for your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. A big part of the degree of impact a behavior has on us is the awareness, thoughts, and knowledge that something is happening to make change. In other words, our beliefs and thoughts are a substantial piece of what puts self-care activities into the self-care category in our lives and makes them work.
What does self-care mean to you? How would you define self-care for yourself?
What immediately comes to mind when you think of self-care? What are some activities that may seem small or routine that actually fit into the category of self-care for you?
What do you want to notice and be mindful of when you engage in your self-care activities so they have the greatest impact? What do you value and love about the self-care activities you already do?
I’d love to hear your comments below! Please share so we can get a conversation going!