How can I have more Self Care in my life?

I must run here and run there because I want to make others happy and I don't have time to rest. There is an insane amount to be done and I have to get it done right now.

This sound familiar? The rush to always get things done and no time to slow down. Late nights in the office and you don't even give yourself time to go to the bathroom.

What is Self Care? My definition of self care is not just buying yourself things, working out or eating healthy. Self care to me is listening to your body, knowing that saying no is okay, and having days just for you. Did I grow up with self care? No, not at all. This was foreign to me until I was almost 20 and I am still practicing this daily. I suffered from a rough eating disorder for years. I mean is an eating disorder ever not rough? I thought I should be guilty for saying no to things even if they brought extra stress or harm into my life.

The summer of 2016 when I was twenty two I was told I had the shingles. This is news a twenty two year old should not get. I broke out in blisters on the side of my body from stress. I was working three jobs with night school and rock climbing at Smith Rock every free moment. I thought I knew self care but I was still discovering it. This lesson taught me to slow down.

I grew up in a family where you must always be doing something. My parents are divorced and I have a different family situation but the ones I was around the most are this way. I didn't know how to relax and felt guilty if I didn't accomplish something spectacular everyday. Now I have a self care Sunday every Sunday. My one day of no expectations. I choose how my day will go and I don't have to be anywhere at any certain time. I started thirty second dance parties when I was stressed out as an office assistant. I was working at a wellness center handling lab work, insurance and admin front of office work.

We all deserve self care. Maybe you are unable to give yourself an entire day. Take self care breaks throughout your day. Self care is deciding to buy your favorite latte before work and drinking it slowly to savor every sip. Self care is telling yourself that you are enough on your on your way to give a presentation you are nervous about. Positive self talk instead of negative. Treating yourself kindly instead of being hard on yourself.

Self care comes in many forms and everyone needs care in a different way. Self care means you say no to situations that bring you harm or make you not feel your best self. For example I was invited to my exes birthday last summer. My ex who I was with when I had an eating disorder. My ex who made me question my self worth and if I was enough. He made me feel that I needed to cut my hair off short to be beautiful. He put me in unsafe life positions. He lied to me and stole from me secretly to get money for drugs. He used me and my kindness everyday for two years. He contributed to my depression and anxiety.

So on the day I got invited to his birthday I actually thought about going. On the day of his birthday I even got ready, though it felt wrong. I felt guilty for the thought of not going. Then I thought about my own well being. How am I going to feel if I go to his birthday? Why would I surround myself around someone who might trigger my past? At that moment I said NO. I will not do something that brings me pain.

When asked if I will work Sundays I questioned it even though I knew it would get in the way of all my plans. No more self care day and I would work sometimes seven days a week. My growth is having the courage to say no I won't work every Sunday. I have always said yes to everything and never wanted to disappoint others. Getting shingles was my lesson to say no. My self care and well being is worth more. People work to live and say they will live later but what if you don't get that opportunity to live later? Take the steps now to take care of yourself while you still can. Listen to your body and ask yourself everyday, " What do I need right now?"

Never forget that self care is not selfish. Self care is needed every single day in order to live the full life you deserve.

Key Points:

* Check in and ask yourself "What do I need right now?" * Listen to your body/soul/intuition

* Saying no is okay

* Self-care is not selfish

* Positive self talk over negative self talk

* Knowing you are important and you are enough

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Sunrise over the Wheat Field