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Self-care is not a dirty word

The Graceful Collective Self Care

OK ladies, grab a glass of vino and set your Spotify to Rod Stewart "Have I Told You Lately?"... we're about to go deep into love. Perhaps you've had a week not dissimilar to mine? You're work days have stretched longer than you thought humanly possible, you've put out fires left, right and centre, you've squeezed five coffee catch ups, three breakfasts and two dinners into a day and you've nursed your sick partner back to health after a serious bout of the man flu. You've finally flopped onto the couch, nothing more than a dishevelled mess, and wondered in all of the madness - who's looking after me? Let me introduce you to a new friend of mine... self-care… you’re gonna love her! I'll be honest, the concept of "self-care" has always had an heir of self involvement and righteousness to me. I've always had two visions of self care - the yogi doing wolf cries to the moon or the darling enjoying her weekly mani/pedi, blow wave and mud mask, all while bathing in a tub of Moët. But, on this fateful evening I've gained a new perspective on the concept - if I don't look after myself, no one else will. At its core, self-care is simply about looking after yourself, and that takes many forms. Now, if this was as simple as it sounds, we'd all be practicing it. But, like all good things in life, it requires some practice and discipline. Firstly, self-care requires awareness and if you've never heard of self-care or don't believe you need it - please, grab a seat. Every living thing requires a level of care. If we don't regularly look after ourselves we simply burn out, and the required level of care quadruples. Trust me, whether you're a boss babe dominating the corporate world or a savage mum telling your kids what's what, you need to take care of yourself. Then, it's down to discipline. Recognising what it is that you need and making time for that each and every day. Yes, every day! The trick is not leaving your self-care practice until the point of mainlining a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc but instead instilling simple and soulful rituals into your day to prevent you from ever reaching that point. Note to self: slightly concerned at the number of alcohol references you’ve already made. Finally, it's about figuring out what types of care work best for you. In it’s simplest but perhaps most powerful form, self-care is about saying no. It's about prioritising you, your time and space, and not feeling guilty about it. Too much of our time and energy is absorbed by shiznit that adds no value to our life and we don't want to do. We're forever giving our precious time to other people out of guilt and expectation and I hate to break it to you, often they wouldn't do the same for you. So try it for yourself this week, say no to something that's as appealing to you as a poke in the eye or at the very least, say yes but on your terms. And finally, if you find yourself struggling with the whole self care thing, think about what you would say to someone you loved in the same predicament. After all, you're the best damn partner, friend, sister, boss and mum going round.

How do you take care of yourself?

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