Self-Care: Action or Intention?

Lately, I’ve seen the prompt in several of the online communities where I’m active, What’s one act of self-care you’ve embraced this week? And, as an advocate for self-care, I’m always glad to be pointed in the direction of taking action, I’m also struck by the “one-and-done” kind of thinking this sort of discussion can prompt.

What I mean by that is, when does self-care become your PRIME MOTIVATOR, your underlying intention for every action you take? When does it stop being one activity this week and a different one next week? When does self-care take center stage and enlarge into a holistic way of being that drives all the decisions in your day?

Photo of a person looking at themselves in a mirror.

I’m not saying that regular acts of self-care aren’t important, they are. But when they’re seen in isolation rather than woven together into the fabric of our everyday life, they can get lost in the busy shuffle or “Things To Do Today” rather than become the core of our decision-making throughout the day, week, month or year.

I’m suggesting that SELF-CARE become the prime directive! That everything else we HAVE to do takes second-stage to learning the habits of self-care and daily management so that we’re not left waiting in the wings for the show to start, when really, in our own lives, we need to be the main character, the star of the show!

Does that sound dreadfully selfish? Does it make you cringe to think that YOU might be the center of your own attention – honestly, how could that possibly work? We’re so used to looking after the needs of everyone else in our lives that we can barely imagine a world in which we get top billing!

Self-care is every conscious action you take that feeds your soul, nourishes your body, nurtures your spirit, or replenishes your relationship with yourself!

When can YOU be #1? When is it socially acceptable for you to be at the very top of the list for receiving care and attention, compassion and understanding? Well, it seems that if you’ve been dreadfully sick, we might allow you that position…

“Oh, my dear, you’ve been so ill, your only job now, is to get well – be sure to look after yourself!” To my way of thinking, that advice is a day late and a dollar short! What if we were to make our OWN wellbeing our number one priority BEFORE we find ourselves ill? What if we were to nurture our own body, mind and spirit in an effort to LIVE WELL all the time? What a concept!

I’m all for taking those very conscious actions that feed your soul, nourish your body, nurture your spirit and replenish your relationship with yourself (my very definition of self-care!) but what if this was summed up in a more comprehensive attitude that permeated every other decision you make every day? What would the inner-dialogue sound like if you were to put YOU first?

  • What if each morning you asked – What do I need/want today?
  • And what if each evening you asked – How can I prepare now for an amazing tomorrow (meaning not just the following day, but perhaps the coming decade)?

How might life change for you if you began to see self-care, not as daily “add-on” activities that you fit in as you’re able, but as the larger framework of your intention for living well, feeling healthy, and being ready to contribute to the lives of others from a substantial foundation of your own wellbeing?

I know it is a radical thought, but I want to plant it in your head today, for your on-going consideration. There are many memorable quotes about a life well lived, and when I think of my own demise, I really don’t want people saying, “Oh, she gave her whole self to others, she was so self-less!”No thanks.

What I’d like to be remembered for is having lived well, lived as fully as possible, and having taken tremendous care of this one life I’ve been given. I’d love to have those I leave behind say of me, “Her life was rich and full, and she freely shared what she knew about living with others!”

Self-care (living well) can be your prime directive! When it is, what will follow is a host of other decisions that do include those very conscious actions that feed your soul, nourish your body, nurture your spirit and replenish your relationship with yourself! That’s the life I’m choosing. Let me know if you’re ready to come along with me!

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About Paula

I help other caregivers – both professionals and family caregivers – acknowledge their pain and learn to practice the many small skills of self-care that can sustain them through the challenges of wholeheartedly caring for others.

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How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.

How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.