When was the last time you went to the hairdressers? Like a fancy one, where you get cups of tea, a head massage and a little aromatherapy spritz over your face even? Or booked yourself in for a massage?
These are the kinda moments that still feel incredibly indulgent to me. In a good way. I feel like I’m treating myself and giving myself that kind of attention that I deserve. Like when you’d save up for this brand new outfit as a kid and then finally get to wear it. Or when your Grandparents or distant relatives would visit and you’d all get treated to Magnums instead of Paddle Pops.
But really, it’s when the treat has come from me that it has felt the most incredible. It’s taken me a little while to fully sink into the experience of it though. I used to weigh up the pros and cons of ‘treating’ myself, to whatever it was at the time. Do I really need this new notebook? Should I really take myself out for a coffee right now? What if I just wait another few months and then get a massage?
The ‘treat’ itself isn’t really the point. It’s the feeling you get from choosing yourself first. And continuing that practice. Choosing to prioritise making yourself feel good, even if it’s in as simple a way as a lighting a candle for your evening bath.
I know the expression ‘self-care’ gets thrown around a lot in social media, self-help and wellness worlds. But really, I think it’s much more about a feeling than it is an act. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering ‘what exactly is self-care?’, or even thinking ‘but I’m just strapped for cash right now I couldn’t possibly’ then I encourage you to tune in more with how you want to feel – and, to knowing that it’s totally okay to feel the way you want to feel.
For me, that’s been a fine-tuning process of identifying the things, people and experiences that really do contribute to me feeling incredible. I’ve paid more attention to how I feel after catching up with someone, or even in the lead up and anticipation of certain events. I ask myself how it will make me feel to book in for a haircut as opposed to asking myself if I ‘really need this’ right now. And, to be honest, sometimes I don’t really feel like a haircut. When I ask if it’d make me feel special, loved and nurtured, sometimes in the moment the answer is ‘nup’. And, other times, there’s this inkling that yes, I need it.
You know better than anyone else what your feel-good factors are. And if it feels pretty foreign to you right now, that’s okay too. It’s all about starting to tune in.
Try asking yourself more regularly: How am I feeling right now? How is this experience making me feel?
When you become more aware of what makes you feel good versus meh, you also get clear on your own personal guidebook for getting you more feel-goods in your life.
And that to me, is really what self-care is all about. Making sure you’re tuned in enough with yourself to put you and your feelings first. It’s not about the massages, or flowers, or haircuts, or outings. And it’s not about the candles, and oils and three-course meals.
Self-care is simply that: caring for yourself.
You’re already pretty exceptional at caring for others in your life, I wonder what would happen if you turned that same level of love, care and affection towards yourself too?
Got someone in your life who do with a little caring for themselves as much as they do others? Share this post with them today.