Did you know that September is Self-Care Awareness Month? How exciting that we have a whole month devoted to the concept of taking care of ourselves. But think about that – we need a month of awareness to remind ourselves that we can practice self-care and that it’s okay. That it benefits us. That it’s good for us. I remember when self-care felt like an alien concept to me.
It felt so strange to intentionally put myself first.
Once I got used to treating myself in such a loving way, my life changed. It was so slowly at first. It’s surprising how hard it is to put your needs on the same level as everyone else. Especially when you’re a people-pleaser or when you’re highly sensitive to the needs of other people. Or worse, when other people just don’t understand or they aren’t used to you having boundaries, and you’re met with guilt trips or anger for taking care of yourself.
You fear that every time you choose yourself you’re taking something away from someone else and that doesn’t feel good. Every time you make that choice to choose yourself you’re also hit with this shot of guilt.
I’ve been there so many times. I’ve said “no” when someone needed something for me, whether it was money, or my time when I just didn’t have the energy to do it, and it made me feel so bad. It didn’t feel like self-care and it didn’t feel like something that was good for me or anyone else.
It felt selfish. But it’s not selfish.
It’s hard to move past that feeling. In fact, it’s appealing to go back to ditching your needs for everyone else. How often do we get praised for that mentality of being the helper all of the time? Self-sacrifice can feel so good, even when it’s having a negative effect on your life. It can make you feel good because you’re being useful and you’re showing your worth.
Who praises you when you’re having a day when it’s really hard for you to function and you take the time and the space to take care of yourself? Or when you say “no” to an engagement because you know that it might exhaust you for days? Who praises you when you feel sick and you decide to stay home and pamper yourself? Usually no one.
But the effect that it has on your mind and on your body, matters. You making yourself feel good – matters.
Taking care of yourself isn’t a selfish act, it is a necessary one.
In honor of Self-Care Awareness month, I want you to take care of yourself and I want you to celebrate it. Even the itty bitty tiny acts of self-care that might not mean anything to anyone else but that add up to a good day for you. Celebrate it. Every single day this month. Focus on self-care. I want you to do those things that fill you up. If you’re into sharing on social media, use the hashtags #SelfCareAwarenessMonth #selflove #selfcarechallenge #evolvetolive (Evolve to Live founded Self-Care Awareness month!)
Try to greet each day this Self-Care Awareness month with this question:
How can I practice self-care today?
And then do that thing.
How is your body feeling right now?
Analyze what your body needs right now to function better. A hot bath, massage, rest, exercise, stretches, yoga, a visit to the doctor, good food? Check-in with your physical needs and then take a few moments today to take care of them.
What’s upsetting you?
Don’t avoid those things that are getting under your skin. If something is bothering you, give it your attention – deal with it. Come up with a plan to take care of what’s worrying you.
How can you be more honest about what you need?
Let go of something that no longer fits or invite something into your life that you finally feel ready for. Be honest about your needs and wants right now.
How can you more deeply connect with yourself?
Spend time with yourself doing something that you love.
What’s one action you can take to better care of yourself?
Just one right now, something that you can do today. What is it?
Take the time to answer these questions and adjust yourself accordingly. Taking care of yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically, is what life is all about. Don’t neglect yourself. Love yourself.
Here are some ways to celebrate Self-Care Awareness Month!
Join the SoulSisterhood! I post weekly self-care reminders and insightful prompts!
Download the Self-Love Workbook! It’s full of ideas to help you find your type of self-care. It encourages you to practice every single day in a way that honors you as a person.
The ultimate guide to the six different kinds of self-care.
Check out self-care for your personality type.
Create your own Self-Care Kit for when you’re feeling in need of extra lovin’s.
Listen to the Self-Care Playlist and dance around your house to my favorite inspiring songs.
If you’re at a loss for how to start loving yourself, I made a how-to guide.
And take a look at 60 ways to start practicing self-care right now!