While self-care might feel like the latest million-dollar buzzword, there is something intriguing in caring for yourself. Appreciating yourself. Loving yourself.
As part of my Retirement Transition I’m learning how to be kinder to myself. I’m working on letting go of the Imposter Complex and the feelings of “I’m not enough”. So Self-Care felt like a great buzzword for me to latch onto!
It feels like everyone defines self-care differently, as so many things can fit under the self-care umbrella. For me the TOP 5 THINGS IN SELF CARE are:
- A Balance of Be-ing and Do-ing. I’m a doer by nature. I have “Out & About” as a key area on my retirement lifestyle vision. I plan, have checklists (I think I am a list-aholic!), and worry about an empty calendar. But I also recognize the need for downtime and appreciating the stillness. I add in meditation, journaling, reading, and yoga. I express gratitude for the quiet times….as I frantically plan something to add into next week’s calendar.
- Healthy Habits. Consciously trying to live a healthier lifestyle in retirement is taking care of myself. I’m not perfect here, because I love food too much. But I do focus on daily movement, eating more fruits & veggies, watching portion size, and getting enough sleep. I’ve incorporated yoga, Zumba, and regular walking into my life, which is a huge change for someone who never exercised while working. And I make sure I do all the regular health checkups – super important as it caught my breast cancer at an early stage.
- Connection. It might be counter intuitive that having connections with others is a part of self-care. But having a tribe of like-minded individuals who can support me, challenge me, and inspire me is part of taking care of me. I do have to watch out for the Compare & Despair or the looking (constantly) for external validation. But investing in relationships is a big part of my life…from on-line blogging buddies to long-distance phone friends to IRL friends of all sorts – some friends for a reason, some friends for a season, and some friends for life.
- Self-Expression & Play. From writing this blog to regularly exploring new things, this is another big part of my self-care. It’s doing things everyday that I enjoy…from little moments of pleasure to continuing on my journey into the retirement lifestyle I’ve envisioned. It’s about saying yes to things I love; and saying no to things I do not want to do and then (trying to) stop worrying that it was expected. It is about pushing outside my comfort zone, but doing it for me. And not putting things off (a lifetime of delayed gratification) because Today is Someday.
- Practice Positivity. I recently told someone, “I was a meet-expectations, critical-thinking, judgmental, cynic who lived to work.” Now I regularly practice positivity – expressing gratitude for what I have, doing daily active meditation with my journaling, using my blog as my life coach, and trying to change negative thought patterns. I try and speak more kindly to myself and focus on believing I am enough. (I’ve often been told I am too hard on myself and have too high expectations!). I am finding joy in the journey of life.
I recently made a list (list-aholic, remember) of 31 different self-care practices so that I can find something every day of the month that is focusing on taking care of me. Self-care is a big part of my retirement lifestyle!
What’s part of your self-care?