I often get overwhelmed by the idea of my own self care. It seems there's always more I need to do or, more accurately, more that I could be doing to keep myself balanced and healthy.
The last few weeks I've decided it isn't about "doing" more. I do enough. What I'm choosing instead is to focus on being more mindful, more present to the things I am already doing to care for myself.
Self Care CAN be simple.
Look at how much we already do to care for ourselves. Eating for example. I am blessed to be able to feed myself daily. I make a lot of meals for myself and friends. But how mindful am I, really, when I prepare my meals, or sit down and start chewing? When I'm honest with myself I'm can say that I'm mostly present while preparing my meals but when I sit down to eat? I'm maybe present for a few seconds and then I quickly get lost in thoughts about my day, or caught up in conversation with my dinner companions. Feeding myself is a supreme act of self care and nourishment. But in order to fully receive the benefit I have to be present and acknowledge it.
This takes no extra time, just a shift of intention and attention.
When I apply this level of mindfulness to other places I already self care - showering, applying moisturizers, daily self massage (abhyanga), brushing my teeth and hair, or even in my daily meditation (yes, sometimes I catch myself not present there too), the benefits of the actions I'm already doing are multiplied thousand fold. Time seems to expand, my breath deepens, and my whole self (body, mind, spirit) becomes much more relaxed.
AHHH, the Magic of Mindfulness.