Self-care, I almost hate writing those words today. They’re SO overused, it seems every other post on Facebook is something about a new clay mask you can get delivered to your door or how to put “self-care” into your day. But is it really self-care? Self-care is more than turning the TV off and sitting in a bubble bath.
I’m looking at self-care from a different angle entirely. I don’t care if you like bubble baths, meditation or petting your cat as forms of self-care I want to talk about the things in your life and how they relate to self-care.
The people, places, things and entertainment you surround yourself with are all aspects that show how you CARE about YOURSELF. Take a moment to think about what shape your bedroom is in right now. Is the bed made? Are your clothes put away? Do you have a weeks worth of water glasses on the bed-side table?
How you take care of this space is a direct reflection on the amount of care you’re giving to YOURSELF on a daily basis. Are your sheets old and not comfortable? Is your pillow on it’s last leg? All of these things are indicators of how much you value caring for yourself. At the least make your bed and put your clothes away. Having a cluttered space is indicative of having a cluttered mind or energy field. And I know it’s expensive to have the best pillow and the best linens, but what can you do within your means to make it feel like a sanctuary for yourself?
The same goes for the music you listen to. What are the lyrics about? What does the song sound like? Is it upbeat or really slow and melancholy? Are the lyrics divisive or derogatory or do they lift you up? I’m not saying you should stop listening to the songs you love, I am saying it’s really important to choose when you’re listening to them. And to understand how deeply they affect you. Listening to a bunch of “he done me wrong” type music while you’re starting to date differently and consciously isn’t going to allow you to get all the way there.
And now, people... People are the best way to keep your self-care level where you want it.
Allowing yourself to be surrounded by negative people will make it damn near impossible to have a positive outlook, feel good about yourself and your life and achieve what you want. This is especially hard if the person you are dating is chronically negative. Trust me, I’ve been there.
So how do you manage people in your life as a form of self-care? There are times when you can’t just escape others. You can’t quit every job the second you meet the negative nancy two cubicles down from you.
You need to start being responsible for who you’re letting in, and how far. Below I outline a few things to keep in mind as you make your relationships to others part of your self care.
You should absolutely never let anyone into your inner circle if they talk down about you, your dreams or your desires. This is a non-negotiable. If this is a family member, close friend or partner and they’re giving you shit for being YOU get the hell out. Yes you may have to see them from time to time but you can choose to keep them respectfully at arms length. There’s no need to be rude to them or to cut them off in a harsh or harmful way. Tell them that you are focusing on yourself, your needs and what you want out of life. You love them dearly but will need to limit your time with them if they’re going to constantly talk down about XYZ.
Working with someone doesn’t mean you have to let them ALL the way in. I have a lot of friends who have made good friends with co-workers. At some level I’ve always been a bit jealous, because I’ve always been more at arms length with the people I work with. Then I remembered advice my Mother gave me when I was entering the working world - “It’s up to you how much of your personal life you bring to work.” I chose to be somewhere between her level and treating everyone at work like my best friend. I realized that in most places I have worked that the spiritual vibration, or the “feel” I get off people there only drags me down. So I have made a conscious effort to be kind, courteous and enjoy interactions but never to invite them in past a certain level of knowing about me.
Being in a space with hurried or frantic energy doesn’t mean you need to engage it. When you’re in a public setting that is rushed - going to work, in a mall, at a sporting event, driving - it can be easy to get sucked into that feeling and it will kill your positivity and require a major self-care realignment. So take some deep breaths and stop pulling in that energy.
OK, cool Whit...but how the HELL am I supposed to do that?
The answer is easy, build what I call a permeable wall. I focus on maintaining a high-vibe every day, as best I can, and in order to do so I had to create an analogy of a permeable wall. Whenever I feel myself in a scenario where I realize the people I’m surrounded by could be negatively affecting my vibe I put this wall up.
The biggest realization here is YOU control how YOU let others make YOU feel. Get that? YOU ARE IN CONTROL. If you sense someone is pulling you down put up this wall. I like to envision a waterfall of sorts but at a thicker consistency, almost like a bubble falling down all around me about three feet out from my body, so I have plenty of personal space to navigate in my high-vibe area. I imagine my vibe going out through the bubble layer of the wall and that I can receive what I need from the people I’m interacting with but all of their negative vibes or harsh energy hits the bubble and falls away. This allows me to still be with these loved ones, coworkers or random strangers I’ve found myself in close proximity to and still maintain my sanity.
It’s a simple enough meditation, when I first started it I took five minutes each morning to sit in the bubble and just feel it out. At times I would run possible scenarios in my head and others I would just enjoy imagining what the wall looked liked. So now I’m well practiced enough that I can simply think of it for a moment or two and I feel calm and centered. I’m where I need to be, I can interact with these individuals but I know they won’t mess with my alignment.
You can use this meditation technique with anything. Music, news, etc. It also happens to be how I got through the last election cycle... Although that wasn’t easy.
Finally, if this wall isn’t enough for you, as there are definitely instances in life where you need to release people entirely, that’s ok. You won’t be able to live your best life if you’re surrounded by people who you allow to walk all over you, treat you like shit or otherwise demean your universal right of being a beautiful respected being. This can be hard, but I implore you to ask yourself, if it gets to this point, if a given person or persons are a necessary part of your life.
This is big work, and it’s why individuals like myself are here. I work with women of all ages in improving their relationships and at times the only improvement is to end the relationship all together. There are times for breaks as well, gauging this can be hard though. This is where grace comes in and working through what your needs and desires are vs. what you are receiving.
My Revamping Your Relationships workbook is a great place to start on this journey. It’s free just click the link or find it in the yellow bar at the top of the page.
Sending you so much love, and gentle reminders that self-care is everywhere in your life, especially with the relationships that you hold.