• Nicole Lovald

What is Self-Care, Anyway?

As a Mindfulness Coach I love that I get to have conversations with people about how to manage stress and cultivate more ease in their lives. I’ve found that in our over-scheduled days many of us feel like we don’t have the time for self-care and have lost sight of  how important it is for us to take time to nurture ourselves (instead of focusing all our time and energy on everyone else). You’ve probably heard the old adage, “you can’t take care of others unless you care for yourself first”.

As a mom, business owner, and yoga teacher, I’ve found this to be painfully true. When I’m feeling completely depleted because I’ve been caring for others all day long, I tend to be reactive, hot-tempered, and overwhelmed. Sound familiar?

Luckily in the midst of my busiest stage of life (when I was a corporate junkie, had a husband deployed and was learning how to single parent a two year old), I found yoga. Yoga provided me with my first glimpse into what self-care was and the impact it could have on my life. The realization that self-care was something I could integrate into my life without having to schedule a “mental health” day off work was a complete eye opener.

It has been six years since that realization and I’ve come a long way in embracing the importance of putting on my oxygen mask first, before I can help others with theirs. As I’ve witnessed the impact of self-care on my own life, I am now an advocate for how helpful it can be for others who are in the height of their busy lives.

While working with a client the other day and exploring the stress and feeling of imbalance in her life, I asked, “what do you do for your own self-care?”

I was met with a response that befuddled me but at the same time took me right back to my earlier stage of life, where I would have likely asked the same question. 

She said, “I don’t understand what you are asking - what is self-care?”.