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What does it really mean to take care of yourself?

A lot has been written about having a better relationship with yourself and how that can positively affect your life in all areas. I really enjoyed this article on Psychology Today with its focus on self-care as an aspect of personal development. The first one really resonates with me:

1. Set intention and cultivate awareness. Set the overarching goal, over a span of years, to keep moving toward a good relationship with yourself, with the understanding that what this entails will change over the years.

2. Plan for the short, middle, and long term

3. Adopt an attitude of curiosity and acceptance

4. Prioritize basic self-care

5. Be kind to yourself

6. Seek others who fit your goals

7. Cultivate realistically optimistic behaviour

8. Have a personal crisis plan

9. Maintain meaningful activity

10. Establish good habits

11. Speak differently with yourself

12. Avoid the “Selfish Trap”

I think every women needs to have a good relationship with herself, but it becomes more urgent for single moms when you have so much responsibility resting on your shoulders alone. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you are single by choice, married, divorced or widowed – everyone needs to be their own best friend.

There are various areas of focus in the self-care industry and everyone has moulded the words to fit their niche. “Mindfulness”, “Wellness”, “Self-care”, “Self-love” and in articles about spirituality I have mostly seen the use of “Soul-care”. My exploration of this topic has led me to some interesting new ideas too.

Have you heard of Sologamy? Well, me neither until a few days ago. Basically it means “getting married to yourself”. Making the same kind of commitment to yourself, that you would to a partner in marriage. This can take the form of a full traditional wedding ceremony with printed invitations to guests, cake and presents, or you can buy a do-it-yourself kit online complete with a ‘self-wedding ring, vows and daily affirmation cards’ at www.imarriedme.com
People have different reasons for taking this step and everyone has their own unique way of expressing self-love. For some it might be a move beyond self-love.

Just a few days later an email popped into my inbox from The Fairy Godmother and I almost couldn’t believe the serendipity of the title “I’ve Embarked on a Soul Honeymoon!”

Below is a short extract from the email:

This is my Soul Honeymoon time.
It started on Monday and will be in full focus for 2 months, possibly 3 months (maybe even more – who knows?)
It’s Soft. It’s Spacious.  It’s a Gift from me to me.
Slowing down.  Re-connecting to what gives me joy.
Re-Visioning.  Creating from a place of Ease and Trust.
My full-focus on the Alignment of my Body-Mind-Soul.

Doesn’t that sound amazing?!

Taking the traditional concepts of marriage & a honeymoon and using it in a new way with a focus on self-care. Yes, it’s a completely different way of approaching the concept of self-care, but isn’t that what it is really about? Doing things in a way that only you would? Really figuring out what will be nourishment to your soul in this moment? Whether you are in the middle of a divorce, or in the aftermath right after, or already a few years down the road. Making time for yourself should be a priority.

What do you do for self-care, or soul-care or whatever name you have given to your practice of daily kindness to yourself?

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings you joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life” – Jean Shinoda Bolen Click To Tweet
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