The BE-DO Balance & Importance of Self-Care
As everyone continues to do their best for each other, for the community, for the country and for the planet, are we able to do the best for ourselves?
What is self-care?
Self-care is a broad term that could mean anything from eating well to hypnosis, exercising to getting a haircut, giving yourself time to watch your favourite film at the end of a long day with a foot bath to seeing a therapist, meditating to getting a massage. The list goes on and on.
The easiest way to look at self-care is in two blocks, external and internal.
- Taking care of the physical body
- Using external objects and tools as part of a self-care routine (Sport, food, bubble bath, nail file etc.)
- Taking care of the mind and energy
- Using internal tools like self-reflection, meditation, positive self-talk, aspiration, non-judgment etc.
So often, particularly in the Western world, we are guided toward external stimulus to make us feel good and not encouraged to develop our internal tools of self-care. This can often result in our physical body and physical life (the reality we live in and other people see) looking very nice, but internally we continue to have negative self-talk, feel inferior to others or generally “not good enough”, judge our own actions and thoughts, push ourselves to do what we think others think we should do....
In recent years there has been a huge change in the way we view self-care. There are more methods and techniques that have emerged, been accepted and in many cases revered and proven to work by the case studies of so many individuals and groups of people. Some once deemed “alternative” styles of care are being recognised as vitally important to maintain our mental (and by proxy, physical) health in the fast-paced, tech-heavy modern world.
It is not selfish to enjoy being with yourself, to love yourself the way you would love a dear partner or cherished family member, after all, we are with our self 24 hours a day… forever! So it is important to get to know ourselves, forgive ourselves and respect ourselves.
Pour from the saucer
Think about your love, service, energy like TEA (very British, I know!). You are the cup and saucer. If there are moments when the cup is empty, or only half full of energy, there’s nothing wrong with that, it may just be a good moment to do something that fills you up, external or internal self-care. Once the tea is overflowing, then we can pour from the saucer, maintaining our own energy and being able to give the overflow to others without diminishing our own.
So what is the BE-DO Balance?
Having the title of human beings, seems ironic when we spend such a huge portion of our time running around doing things. Doing is something that we learn growing up - it seems that childhood is the time of “being” and the older you get the more you have to be a human “doing”.
It was a reflection of the industrial revolution and as we move further away from this era, we can start to restore some balance. It is very possible to keep on doing things AND find time just to BE. To go for a nice walk and listen to the birds, to sit in the garden and actually stop and smell the roses, to watch the clouds, to be grateful, to breathe, to meditate.
Pausing does not mean stopping.
It may seem daunting or even ridiculous to give yourself time, space or silence, because it is very natural for 2020 humans to be doing and thinking many things at the same time. But pausing does not mean halting productivity or being lazy. Mindfulness and meditation alone, have been proven to enhance focus, increase energy and deepen compassion for the self and others.
What self-care practice works for you?
There is no right or wrong way to practice self-care. Try different ways of caring for yourself internally and externally. Some points to keep in mind:
YES - You can celebrate yourself and give yourself recognition.
YES - You do deserve to do nice things for yourself,
YES - It is OKAY to take some time or space to make sure your cup is full up
YES - Sometimes it may feel uncomfortable, it is something we have to learn ourselves
YES - You have a right to listen to and learn about yourself.
You may already have many ways of caring for yourself, this is amazing! Share these ideas with others if you are ready to pour from the saucer and continue to allow yourself to experience different ways of feeling, healing and developing a stronger, wiser relationship with yourself.
Use the incredible resource of technology to find techniques, try different practices of mindfulness, meditation, therapeutic methods. It is okay to experiment, and most importantly to have your own experiences to know what works for you. Just know that you are worthy of your own care. Be kind to yourself, take care of your own energy and the rest will follow.
To help with self-care and just being, I and my colleague Idit Nissenbaum are offering a By-Donation 1 hour guided gentle movement and meditation in support of Beat.
For more details and to participate, see here:
DATE: Tuesday 26th May 2020
TIME: 9am - 10am UK (BST)
LEVEL: All Levels
WHAT TO BRING: (optional) pillows, yoga mat, candles, incense, blanket, fluffy socks.
(Feel free to share this link with others but please make them aware that it is in support of the charity Beat and they can donate if they can for this brilliant cause.)
CONTACT, HELP, QUESTIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org