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Radical Self-Care is the New Cool Thing

What does Radical Self-Care mean to you?

For myself, I recently described it to a women’s group like this…

Think back to when Nirvana was just getting their start in Seattle. Grunge was a new, upcoming style of music. It was not yet accepted as mainstream. What they were doing was considered radical because it was not something that had been done before then.

Now, think about self-care. Many of us have grown up in a society that rewards pushing oneself well-past their limits, for prioritizing others’ needs over their own, and ignoring our basic needs such as getting adequate sleep and making time to engage in regular physical activity.

I Didn’t Get Enough Sleep Last Night

When was the last time you got into a pissing match with someone over how little sleep you got the night before. The conversations usually go something like…

Person A: “Oh, my. I am really tired today. I didn’t get enough sleep last night.”

Person B: “Tell me about it. I only got 5 hours of sleep last night.”

Person A: “Uh, I would have loved to have gotten 5 hours of sleep. I had a hard time falling asleep. And, when I finally did, I was woken up by my kids (animal or a list of other reasons…) and couldn’t go back to sleep. In all, I probably had less than 4 hours of sleep.”

Person B: “I completely understand what you mean. Five hours was a lot for me. I usually average around 4 or 4.5 hours a night.”

These conversations happen All. The. Time. As if we are proud of the fact we don’t get enough sleep at night. SMH

Back to Radical Self-Care

When we talk about radical self-care. Well, I relate it to those early days of Nirvana just hitting the music scene. Grunge is a very specific style of music and wasn’t widely accepted at first. Right!?

Well, Self-care is a novel idea to many people these days. We have not widely accepted it in society. You can say that self-care is very much underground (or often associated with spending a lot of money on yourself). Therefore, taking a stance and prioritizing ones’ self-care is considered a radical concept.

This leads us to the next part of our conversation, defining self-care. Because, truth is, we haven’t actually been taught what self-care means.

Remember, this is not a widely accepted concept in our society.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is NOT…

  • Going to the spa
  • Getting a massage or facial
  • Having your nails done at the nail salon
    • Splurging on a bunch of new clothes or makeup
  • Basically, spending money on expensive things and making it so you can only engage in those activities once in a blue moon.

Self-care IS…

  • Saying “No” when you don’t want to do something instead of allowing someone to guilt or pressure your into saying “Yes.”
  • Prioritizing your own needs before others. Think of it as putting on your oxygen mask before putting it on the child next to you.
  • Telling someone you need to take a break or need alone time. (Fun fact: My oldest and I call it “being a kitty.”)
Kitty Time — This is the exact GIF that started the phrase!
  • Asking for what you need from others.
  • Dedicating 5-10 minutes of your day to meditation, yoga, or spending time outside.

Full disclosure, some of these self-care ideas can be difficult to implement. Especially if you have not previously practiced them. So, practice self-compassion by allowing yourself time and space to learn these things.

Disclaimer: Now, if you are the type of person who enjoys getting regular manicures. Cool. That’s fine. Go for it! My intention here is not to make you feel guilty about it. Instead, I am trying to make sure I convey that spending money is not the only way to engage in self-care.

Wrapping it Up

Today, I challenge you to do one thing as an act of self-care.

Take action. Make it happen. Oh, it doesn’t have to be a big production either. Simply sprinkling some essential oil in the shower before hoping in can work. Be sure to focus on taking some deep breaths while in there too.

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