by Lara Williams (originally posted on Dec 28th, 2009 on http:/www.fitnessgoop.com)
As social creatures, we spend a lot of our time contributing to the collective of people in our lives. Similarly, our ancestors operated in tribal settings. Within a tribe, each individual has an important role to contribute to the survival and wellness of the group as a whole: the medicine person heals the sick, the mothers raise and feed the young, the hunters provide sustenance…etc.
Nowadays you still have the responsibility of contributing to the people in your immediate circle. Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or a member of a workplace team, your contribution is counted on as an integral part of the bigger picture. And ideally, you’ll be doing the best job you can for the benefit of all.
Considering the value of giving your best- perhaps to a project at work, or being present to your children without letting life’s stressors tire you out and limit your patience and energy, self-care is hardly a luxury. Rather, it’s a responsible choice.
Choosing self-care means that you are choosing to empower yourself to handle stress more effectively and respond to life’s challenges in a resourceful way. Blocking out time to prioritize renewal on a regular basis will certainly benefit you personally, and it will have a ripple effect by touching the people you interact with: co-workers, partners, family and clients.
Acts of self-care will be different for each individual. Find what works for you and start scheduling it in. It should be a headliner in your weekly routine, not squeezed in as an afterthought, or a thought of as a ‘treat’.
Common self-care rituals include running, shutting off the blackberry and phone for the night, long soaks in the tub, regular massages, creative expression such as writing, art or music, taking a mini-holiday, hiring a therapist or simply reserving an hour each day for solitude and silence.
Recharging your batteries through self-care will show instant results in your life, as you’ll perform at an optimum level and interact with others with clarity and stable moods. Your energy will be pleasant to be around, and even inspiring!
Do you regularly practice self-care rituals? Please leave a comment below..
About the author:
Lara Williams (BA, CSFC) is a Vancouver-based Life Coach. Her coaching practice supports busy professionals to prioritize success and life-fulfillment. Along with private coaching, Lara is a conference speaker and facilitates groups, seminars and workshops on topics such as Self-Care and Life Balance, Making Successful Changes, and Life Design. Lara studied Psychology at Simon Fraser University, and completed Solution-Focused Coach training at Erickson International College of Coaching and NLP Practitioner training. Her involvements and affiliations include Business Networking International, Transitions Career and Business Consulting, Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network and the International Coaching Federation. In her personal life, Lara enjoys hiking, cooking, exploring nature, laughing hysterically with good friends and practicing radical self-care.