This week on the podcast is all about the self-care habit; starting with the self-care question to ask yourself. Something we all need to do, and often need reminders to do, and now, in the midst of this pandemic winter, our self-care requirements are higher than ever. Also, what else are you going to do??
Listen to the Podcast Here
During this week and next, I’ll present a full suite of self-care practices that go well beyond what most people think of when they think self-care
Things like getting a massage, or taking a yoga class, or maybe drinking a green juice. Don’t get me wrong, all those things are great, but self-care doesn’t need to be a special occasion or require you to go anywhere. Or to do anything particularly special to help you reap the benefits of it, which include:
- Feeling more in touch with yourself
- Feeling more grounded
- Feeling more relaxed
- Feeling more open-hearted and clear-headed
- Feeling your best
- Being able to relate to other people better
- As well as being better equipped to handle stressful times, so that your health and your relationships stay strong.
Today’s big idea is that there is one self-care question you can ask yourself that will help you build the habit. It will shift into self-care mode, and to be able to figure out what specific kind of self-care you need. The power of asking yourself this question is that it creates an opening in your busy day and swirling thoughts and allows you to pause long enough to really check in with yourself and to start developing the self-care habit.
The self-care question is: What do I most need right now?
It’s a question I ask myself and my coaching clients regularly.
The answer to this question might be something super simple:
Like, a glass of water, a rest, a hug, to get the hell out of here, or lunch.
Or it can bigger:
I asked myself this self-care question a few years ago, after a long winter of being the primary caretaker of my kids and my recuperating husband, who broke his ankle, had two surgeries, and spent four months recovering on the couch. There may or may not have been a pee bottle involved. OK, yes there was.
Now, I know that marriage is for worse and that parenting is not for sissies. And I would not want to change places with my husband. I signed up for all of it. But I was also SUPER fried at the end of those four months. Although I would ask myself this question throughout those four months, due to the nature of the situation, my answers were always small things, like, take a bath, send the laundry out to the laundromat a couple of times instead of doing it myself. But once he was back on his feet–literally–my answer to this question was “I need to be alone, and away.”
Which is how it came to pass that I booked an AirBnB for myself in Brunswick Maine for myself for four glorious days and three glorious nights.
I’d never been there, but in the listing it said the hosts were so thoughtful and left breakfast fixins and snacks in the fridge for you, and that sealed the deal. I went, and read, and took walks, and patronized the local health food store and ate stuff that my family would never go for. It was so incredibly restorative.
And it all happened because I asked the self-care question, “What do I most need right now?”
Just asking yourself this self-care question is a form of self-care
It means you’re remembering that you are a person with needs. And it forces you to listen for the voice that comes from a deeper place than your to-do-list obsessed mind.
Whatever answer bubbles up, resist the urge to question or dismiss it. Instead, honor it the best you can in this particular moment.
Developing a habit around asking yourself this question helps you see that you know more about what you need in any given moment than you might think you do.
And if ever ask ‘What do I most need right now’ and feel like you don’t know the answer, keep asking. And keep listening for the answer. Make sure that you’re not swatting ideas that feel too silly or expensive or implausible. There is always some way to honor what you hear. You deserve to get what you need.
Daily Tiny Assignment
So that’s your tiny assignment for today, build your self-care habit. At some point, before you fall asleep tonight, remember to ask yourself, what do I most need now? And then honor it to whatever extent you are able. Remember it’s need, not want — wants are important to have, too, but when you’re needing a little self care, you might want a whole bottle of wine, but that’s not really what you need, you know?
Come back tomorrow when I’m sharing how sometimes all you need to take better care of yourself is one syllable.