I know it’s the best we’ve got right now but I seriously think that more than 4 hours a day on a video zoom call cannot be a good thing. I just spent two 7-hour days in an intensive online training and I was left feeling completely wiped out well before it ended. 🥱
I was aware in the days leading up to the training that I needed to practice deeper self-care. I got an early morning workout in each day before it started and used the limited break times to get outside and walk and to eat nutritious foods.
On the second day of the event, I requested that we stop every hour and even offered to lead some simple breathing and energizing qigong movements to keep us all going. Everyone commented that it really helped to get back in their bodies. But that didn’t seem to be enough for me.
I attempted to reset my nervous system after the training in the ways I know best- a long salt bath, candles and essential oils and just plain ole rest. I had some temporary relief yet still felt like I’d been tumbled around in a giant dryer for a couple of days.
It became so clear to me that I had to shift this pattern of overriding my own needs and learn how to create a lifestyle that is more sustainable and suitable to my unique rhythms.
The challenge was that I hadn’t had the experience of such long stints of being on camera and staring at the screen as I did for that training. I couldn’t fully anticipate what I needed to do beforehand to keep me more attentive and engaged because it was new to me. I needed a more balanced and holistic approach. I needed true self-care but just didn’t know it.
You see, true self-care is beyond indulgences to escape the stressors of your life. It’s about making choices for your long-term wellness and daring to be your own best advocate. That may mean making tough decisions to let people or things go, or starting a new habit that takes time and energy but serves you better.
The upheaval of a global pandemic and restructuring of systems happening right now is not a short process. We are being called to set up our own structures and deeply understand what we need on all levels to weather this long storm. Self-care is more important than ever now- if we approach it holistically.
Start by expanding what you think self-care is beyond what you are told in mass media. Massages, baths, chocolates, and taking a nap only address the physical aspects. There are other areas that need your attention and compassion as well.
Physical– taking care of all of your bodily needs; getting quality and ample sleep, eating healthy foods, stretching or yoga to keep the joints lubricated and supple, and getting cardiovascular workouts to boost your heart health and provide a release from emotions, and creating sensual experiences to connect you back to pleasure.
Emotional– finding constructive ways to manage stress, being committed to emotional maturity (moving from victim to taking responsibility for your actions), and practicing forgiveness and compassion.
Social– knowing what you need to set and adhere to clear boundaries with others, creating strong support systems to easily ask for help when you need, practicing compassionate and conscious communication. spending quality time with positive and loving people in your life, monitoring intake on social media with a commitment to focus on positive and productive information.
Spiritual– making space for time alone, spending time in nature, meditation and journaling for self-reflection and connecting to a higher source, creating sacred space to contemplate and tune in to your inner voice, yoga and breathwork to release and restore your body and soul.
When you consciously incorporate all of the components above, you are taking an active role in protecting your own well-being and happiness; especially in times of stress.
What type of self-care are you lacking? What can you do to balance it out? Comment below- I’d love to hear. 🌟
Beth Nelson is an inspiration and leader for women who are ready to awaken into the fullest version of themselves at midlife and leave a meaningful impact on the world. As a Women’s Midlife Mentor, confused and disengaged women in their 50s and 60s hire her to build the necessary confidence to reinvent themselves and create a life full of passion, purpose and authenticity.