Don’t Should Your Self-Care

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

You have probably noticed by now through my blog and social media updates that I am a big supporter of regular self-care for maintaining good health. The self-care practices that I have grown to love over the past years have radically transformed my health and life on all levels of being. That is why I am so passionate about sharing these small pieces of insight with others.

Recently, I have been working on the outline and notes for my upcoming Moon Cycle workshop for Women’s Well-being. Of course, in this class I will be sharing a few key self-care practices that I recommend for greater balance and ease around menstrual cycles. I do plan on sharing more about that in the future, but for today I want to share a few words around the darker side of self-care: should-care.

This is when self-care becomes another daily task that should be done. Just something else to mark off your checklist (and I do love a good checklist). It can be helpful to set a rhythm and keep up with certain practices for a period of time to really integrate them into your life. I am not denying that. It’s also helpful to recognize that it’s really fine if you miss a day or a week or realize that it’s just not feeling supportive for you. Authentic self-care allows you the freedom to really explore what serves you, not what someone else said should serve you.

There is an abundance of self-care practices to chose from. It is up to you to diligently take what works for you, integrate it in a sustainable way and really feel the nourishment of it. Self-care is not one method serves all. It’s not something you should yourself into doing to feel better.

Self-care also becomes should-care when perfectionist tendencies are transferred from life to self-care practices. I know this well, as it is something that I have to work with consciously. This transference only perpetuates perfectionism, while authentic self-care can be a path towards more compassion for the inner perfectionist.

Don’t should your self-care. Gather inspiration from me and others. Get help when you need it. Create self-care rituals that really feel nourishing to you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Focus on areas of your health and life that really need support. Do the best for you and let go of the rest.

As one of my beloved yoga teachers has often said: never give up, always let go. Abhyasa and vairagya. Practice and non-attachment.

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