The “S” in SCERF (my health coaching business name) stands for self-care. When I elaborate in conversation, I refer to it as the behaviors or habits you need on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to feel your best. I think it is different for every person, but can include a broad array of activities such as reading, meditation, prayer, nature, pedicures, massage, and bubble baths (and of course exercise, relationships, food, and meaningful work, but I cover those in other letters in the SCERF acronym).
A friend recently shared this view: ”self-care isn’t about lavender essential oil and bubble baths, it’s about creating a life that you don’t routinely feel the need to escape from.”
While I think that essential oils and bubble baths are great activities for some people to create the very life that they do not want to escape from, I think this definition gets to the root of what I have been trying to convey. Instead of layering self-care luxury activities like essential oils and bubble baths on top of a crazy hectic busy lifestyle that we return to when the activity is over, our first focus should be on maintaining a certain level of lifestyle happiness that we do not feel the need to escape from on a regular basis. Of course we will have stressful periods that we will need to recover from, but our day-to-day should bring satisfaction.
So how do you create that life? If you want more money, you can either save more or make more. In that same vein, you can think about designing a life you love by removing activities that don’t serve you and adding those that do. You may benefit from working on just one side of the spectrum, or maybe you need to work on both. If you are busy all the time until you reach a breaking point and then recover, one change could be carving out an hour every day, or maybe an afternoon a week, for completely unscheduled time to do whatever you want. Or, perhaps you want something to look forward to. Maybe that’s a night out with one of your children each week, or scheduling a massage every other week.
What’s one thing you can add or remove in this week to get you closer a life of self-care?