Self care has been a hot topic for a while now, I’m sure you have all seen the lists of ways to practice self care. Buy yourself a new outfit/lipstick, take yourself out for lunch or buy yourself some flowers. Don’t get me wrong, all those things can bring a spark of feel good in the moment but what about the long haul. What about when you have no desire to get out of bed, to do another chore or to drag yourself to work again. What then? Will a new outfit or a bouquet of posies do anything? What about the list that says eat real food, take your vitamins, go for a brisk walk, soak in some sun? The art of self care starts with making a commitment to yourself. Self care is about having the inner dialogue with yourself about the amazing person you are and then standing up to your inner critic and telling it to zip it. Self care is about the commitment to smiling at yourself, complimenting yourself and providing your own positive inner conversations. It’s about holding ourselves accountable and reminding ourselves why we deserve better than the drive through food and need to grab that organic salad that will nourish us for the day. It’s about choosing a warm cup of tea and a great book over numbing out in front of the TV with a beer. Self care is about nourishing our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual bodies. It’s about saying no to more so we can say yes to ourselves. It’s about consuming less so we can be more present with our dreams. For me self care has been about falling in love with my life and that means figuring out what has to go so that I have more time for what I love. It also means becoming clear on what I love. Sometimes self care looks like standing out in the sun, breathing deeply. Sometimes it looks like a brisk walk yet other times it looks like a slow leisurely walk giving myself time to observe children playing, birds chirping or newly blooming wild flowers. Sometimes it is diving deep into a project or cleaning out a closet and sometimes it is slowing down and writing in my journal or listening to some inspiring music. Self care is about tuning into what my body and soul need in this moment. I personally have found someone else’s lists stress me out, it almost feels like another item on my to do list. Over the years I have discovered that true self care is about creating a relationship with myself, making a commitment to my wholeness and holding myself accountable. Where to start? Have an inner conversation or journal and find out what you need. Sometimes this will take a while, we have ignored ourselves for a very long time. Keep talking, keep writing and before you know it you will begin to get the answers. What you need today will be different than tomorrow. Right now I have found I need more sleep, more rest and more time to just be. That has been going on for days and I am honoring it. Periodically I will wake to find myself needing to create something, clean something or take on a project and then I follow that lead. We are in a perpetual state of flux right now and listening to the self, caring for the self is so critical right now. By listening to myself and honoring what I need I have built trust in myself, that is the ultimate act of self care. Then I buy myself a brightly colored bouquet to celebrate the efforts I have made in caring for myself!!