Today I took over the #SelfCareSunday story for Slate Beauty. Slate Beauty celebrates a holistic view of what healthy skin is and the kinds of journeys that can get us there, which includes self care rituals.
Posting my story today reminded me that my priority on Sundays is to take time for myself. I am an outgoing introvert, so while I love interacting with other people, I need alone time to recharge.
I am also a people pleaser! In college I spent so much time focusing on other people, and often forgot about what I needed. I now keep a list of my "non-negotiables". These are the things I need to feel mentally, physically, and emotionally rested and rejuvenated. Obviously, having a consistent yoga practice is a non-negotiable!
Why it's important?
Nurturing a better relationship with ourselves is a necessity. It helps us figure out what's working in life and what we need to change. Self care also helps us take a timeout on the bustle of life. Living in New York means you are always "busy." It's a culture I noticed at Harvard too, where the busier you are the more successful you seem.
We have to stop one-upping each other at how busy we are! Instead, I want celebrate the things I'm doing to take care of myself even if it's a few minutes here and there.
Yoga and Self Care
While self care has recently become popular in social media, the concept has been in ancient yoga scriptures for centuries. I'm drawn to sutra 2.16 where Patanjali says,
"Heyam Dukham Anagatam" or "Future pain can be avoided."
Yoga never tells us that we should be perfect, but the sutras give us tools that we can use to avoid future stress and discomfort. One tool Patanjali gives us is svadhyaya, or self study. Off the mat, self study can mean noticing what is going on in our minds and bodies and making choices that will help us live a more positive life.
Maybe we can't make the best choices every single day, but it's about cultivating a habit of understanding ourselves and our needs. As I write this out, I realize it sounds really selfish! I'm at a point in my life where I don't have kids or a mortgage, so I understand that self care looks different for everyone. Hopefully by connecting with myself now, I can set my future habits up better.
By quieting my mind, yoga has taught me that life doesn't always have to be go, go, go. Yes, I am a type-A person, I want to have a great career, and I will always have a million things on my to-do list. BUT 100% of my time shouldn't be spent on that to do list.
Without compassion towards my self, I won't have the energy to work towards my goals. I also won't truly know what my goals even are. Instead of comparing how we are wearing ourselves thin, let's focus on the things we are doing to make ourselves whole again.