Self-Care. My (almost) Friend.
We used to have a love-hate relationship. In my head, I knew I had to make time for her (it’s a her to me), but she was the first to be dropped once the schedule got busy. So much association with guilt – it was a “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” situation.
Honestly, when I was working through The Declaration of You (TDOY), I had trouble coming up with a list of things to do for Little Miss Self-Care. These days, we’re working on it and hang out on what I call S.O.A.R. days (Space Out, Align, Recharge).
The Universe clearly wants us to get to know self-care a little better. She keeps showing up in client sessions. People either don’t do enough self-care, or they make time, but the activities they choose don’t satisfy them on a deeper level. It puzzled me for a while, until I finally realised what was going on.
The Trouble with Self-Care. Or Rather, Its Image.
Most things we read on self-care focus on the relaxing aspect.
Meditate. Do yoga. Breathe. Nap.
That’s all good. Many of us lead fairly hectic lives and juggle a variety of roles, and on top of that, we also have roles that we *want* to step into, or experiment with. We literally need to take a breather!
It’s time though, to take it beyond relaxing. (Don’t worry, this is not going to add to your To Do list.)
As Michelle & Jessica say in TDOY, self-care = taking care of yourself. For me, this means:
- Unwind. Feels less demanding than ‘relax’. It’s easier for me to say, “I’m going to take 10 to unwind” on a regular basis, than say take an hour or two out of my week to go for a massage.
- Revitalise. Replenish any existing energy that’s feeling low or depleted.
- Invigorate. Invite new energy into your life. New energy = new experiences = new life. Think of it like changing the kind of batteries you use, or upgrading/refining your technology.
The idea of self-care also needs to expand to include space for your personal preferences. Since each of us comes into this world with a unique soul and its very own birth chart, the activities that you consider invigorating, could be quite different from what I think is invigorating.
Don’t assume that what works for others, works for you too.
Embrace your uniquity! 🙂
Also, some of us have default modes we snap into: old habits, whatever is convenient, anything that doesn’t require much thought. I know I’ve done that. If you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of a massage thinking, “I must relax more” while getting more and more tense physically, you’d know exactly what I mean.
Self-Care & Your Moon Sign
In Astrology, we look to our Moon Sign to look at what we find most emotionally nurturing. It’s not one size fits all, because what’s impactful for you ultimately depends on your birth chart, but below are some general suggestions for your Moon Sign.
Think solo or one-on-one style physical activity: jogging, swimming, cycling, tennis, badminton. Do “kiddy” things. Dance in the rain (but don’t fall sick.) Fingerpaint. Sing out loud. REAL loud. Any sort of self-expression, preferably with an audience. Aries Moons need to feel they are being seen and heard. Try something you’ve never done before. Experience things with a sense of wonder.
Taurus Moons make me think: feed the body & senses = feed the soul. Do whatever is sensual *and* comforting. Luxuriate on 550-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Enjoy a cup of intensely flavoured ice-cream. (With food, if you know you have a tendency to over-indulge, set limits at the start so you don’t end up feeling bad.) Get a full body massage with your favourite body butter. Also, get yourself outdoors and enjoy nature – big open spaces or hiking in the woods, it doesn’t matter.
Gemini Moons really need to talk and share. Surround yourself with at least a few good listeners (and put them on rotation ;)). Debate for the fun of it. Play Devil’s Advocate. If you enjoy books, you might enjoy a book club – intellectually stimulating *and* you get to engage in discussion and share your thoughts (a movie club works too). Hang out in online forums discussing whatever you’re into.
Nostalgia and family are standard go-tos for Cancerian moons. Spend time with your family (the people you consider your family, not necessarily blood relatives.) Visit places from your childhood. Go on a vintage/antique hunt. Comfort food, especially Mom’s cooking. Get yourself to a body of water. Hang out, or immerse yourself in it. Potter around your house. Cook/bake up a storm (and maybe feed your friends).
Leo Moons are all about pampering. Visit the hair salon – do up your hair, get a special hair treatment, a glam new look – or perhaps a mani-pedi. Go to a salon where they make you feel like a Queen (or a King). If not, get dressed up, and hang out where you’ll meet lots of people, your gorgeousness can be appreciated, and you can put your charm to good use. Give yourself permission to SHINE.
“Cleaning/Decluttering is therapeutic” is your motto. Look through what you have at home and activate that discerning sense of yours. Sell/Donate things that are still in good condition but you don’t need/want anymore. Go for warm, optimal minimalism. Body-wise, get a good body scrub or DIY (Sabon scrubs are the best!). Research whatever interests you have, especially those to do with health, or streamlining some life area. Go deep for detailed and nuanced knowledge.
Visit the art museum or some art galleries. Go to a ‘live’ performance – classical music, opera, play. Watch an art film. See the recurring theme? Whatever you do, do it with elegance. That means even if you rent a film to watch at home, you create an experience: play dress up if you like, turn down the lights, a glass of wine at hand. Reimagine what you think is ‘mundane’, and bring your touch of beauty to it.
Unearth some secrets. Solve the mysteries of the world 😉 If that takes too much time, then journal to peel away your own layers, to explore what lies within. Dream journals, creative or art journals work especially well. Do transformation – you’ll enjoy both inner and outer. It doesn’t have to be permanent, unless you choose to have it that way.
Get spontaneous. Travel. Randomly pick a place and just go explore the neighbourhood. Smash the plan and go with the flow. Time travel to civilisations past works too. You create your own adventure. Get curious. Explore foreign cultures, new philosophies and alternative streams of thought to get inspired. Dip in, get out. Rinse and repeat. Your world is limitless.
Admire your financial portfolio, career achievements, how far you have come. Delight in your beautiful home (or turn it into what you think is beautiful). Go window shopping and identify some aspirational purchases. You could buy it on the spot, but you get far more satisfaction when you buy it as a reward for something. Set goals and intentions. Make plans. Streamline. Decide to conquer the world 😉
Check out the latest and greatest on the technology scene. Play with gadgets. Deconstruct what you know about something, or literally take something apart, and then reinvent it. Give it YOUR voice. Explore alternative, on-the-fringe scenes. Spread the word about little-known innovations, unconventional thinking. Think big. Imagine what could be. And think far into the future. Far, far into the future.
Set intentions to remember your dreams and keep a dream journal by your bed. Make going to bed a ritual. Do stream-of-consciousness writing or freewrite on whatever is on your mind at the moment. Cut out, or if it’s easier for you, drift away from toxic people in your life. In fact, elimination of anything that doesn’t work is especially good for you. Solitary walks near water. Oh, and foot reflexology.
That Pisces Moon reminds me that, in TDOY, Michelle and Jessica not only focus on getting us to list the things we can do to take care of ourselves, but also make us look at what we want to eliminate.
Just say no! Streamline what you can! (Okay, that’s me.)
Try out the suggestions above and let me know what you think. And share what’s working for you too.