Radical Self Care - Seven ways to find greater joy in daily life.
I have been overjoyed to see the clever ones link ‘radical’ with ‘self care’. Two beautiful words, independently with such negative connotations, together a perfect prescription for joy and optimal health!
Radical implies ‘almost too much’. Extreme, pioneering, ground-breaking. The type of thing your more narrow-minded friends will condemn. But why not? Why not be a little extreme in the care you take of yourself. It doesn’t have to be indulgent in terms of money or huge chunks of time, it just has to be radical in terms of the importance you place on it. After all, if you are not prioritising your own journey into optimal health and joy, when who is?
Self-care can sound a bit dull and uninspiring, like flossing. We know it needs to be done, what’s the big deal? Done thoughtfully, our acts of self care can become a little mindfulness practices all of their own. The results make you feel better, look better, behave better, just in the same way a well cared for puppy with be an absolute delight and a neglected one a complete nightmare!
Here are my suggestions for radical self care, all recent practices for me which have soaked in and elevated my life from ‘fine but slightly messy' to ‘beautiful, polished and calm.’ Maybe not all the time ;-), but perhaps more of the time.
Get out in nature every single day.
Meditate every single day without fail. If you haven’t found the app or the voice or the timer that suits you, you will. Keep seeking. Every time you even try, you have started on the path to establishing a daily practice. It’s an arduous path in the early stages, be kind to yourself and persevere.
Set aside time to look after your belongings to keep them nice. Reduce the need to go shopping. Spend that time tidying your wardrobe, sorting your beautiful things. Take time to properly look after your fabrics, polish your shoes, wear the nice stuff. Be more discerning with your attention and cherish what you already have.
Prioritise your exercise and your healthy food. This is an area of your life that deserves, time, attention and money. How much is a Doctor’s visit, how much does it cost your wellbeing if you are sick? Not prioritising these things ultimately costs you more time and money in the long run.
Find the skin care and hair care routine that suits you. Interestingly, science is not telling us to step away from the harsh soaps so this step will save you money. Educate yourself to find systems and solutions that avoid harsh stripping chemicals and instead nourish and hydrate. You will spend WAY less money on products with this method, and, depending on your own preferences, way more time spreading delicious layers of hydration on your plump skin.
Buy a diffuser, find a smell you like and diffuse it. A smell can instantly change your thoughts, your attitude, your mood. Think of the freshness of a Siberian Fir Tree, the floral hit of Lavender, the juiciness of a Wild Orange. All of these experiences are available to you in a few drops. Educate yourself, get to know yourself better. What smells do you love? How do they make you feel?
Celebrate you! Be proud when your daily routine goes as planned and you feel ready and fresh for your day. Use unexpected pockets of time to devote extra self-care time to yourself, a longer walk, a long hot bath, a slow cooked meal. If it’s not going so well forgive yourself, we are human, we are, each one of us, an imperfect work in progress.
The wonderful things about radical self-care is that it’s contagious. Your loved ones with notice and want some! “I’ll have what she’s having”. And there’s plenty to go around, there is a sense of limitlessness when we consider the multitude of ways we can look after ourselves and encourage others to do the same.
“The love and attention you always thought you wanted from someone else, is the love and attention you first need to give to yourself.” ~Bryant McGillns