By Jacquelyn Delane
Great Day Be Well Community and Happy Spring
As you peruse through this awesome magazine filled with contributors from all over the USA, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this today. Without the vision of Carmen Ray I would not have the platform to share something I hold dear to my heart— Self-Care, Unapologetically!
Welcome to spring! For many of us this past winter, along with all of the challenges that Covid-19 presented, we are now ready for renewal. One of the definitions of spring is to arise, rise, originate, derive, flow, and proceed. Spring can also imply rapid or sudden emerging. So as you spring into your self-care, find the flow that works for you. Look for what brings sunshine into your heart and soul.
As I mentioned to you in the last issue, because of my commitment to my loved ones, I had to find a way to care for myself while at the same time providing all of the loving care they needed and deserved. From 2009-2020 I was caring for three of my family members (my husband, mom and dad). Due to the fact that my son passed in 1994 from Leukemia, and the fact that I have never had siblings, I had very little help along my journey. I was going along pretty good for the majority of that time until my body started sending me signals that it was time to take a stand and make my self-care as much a priority as I made caregiving for my loved ones. Well, it is very obvious that was a huge challenge. I had to be creative and figure out ways to bring myself some relief, especially during those times when I could not even leave my home. I had to find my flow. So, in this article I want to share a few self-care strategies I’ve used and give you a challenge to complete during this spring season.
When I first started researching self-care in 2019, I found very few suggestions on social media. Therefore, I had to find ways to relax in the midst of a storm. Some of the techniques I used were:
✅ Deep Breathing
✅ Filling my oil diffuser with lavender for at least 12 hours per day
✅ Stretching and only focusing on myself for those few minutes
✅ Reading and looking through magazines when I could
✅ Looking at family photos of happier times
✅ Practicing Mindfulness
✅ Meditation and Prayer
✅ Standing outside in the sunshine
These are just a few of the practices I incorporated as often as possible just to ground myself. If you create a list, you may likely choose totally different items. Self-Care is personal and there is no ‘one size fits all’. Since 2019, I have learned to incorporate another grounding activity when I really get overwhelmed and need to immediately reduce stress. This grounding activity is to identify and think about the following: 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This activity helps you disengage from stressful or overwhelming situations and helps you get back to being “grounded” so you can move forward.
Lastly, I have a challenge for us all. I know vision boards are very popular at the beginning of the year. I have decided since spring includes new beginnings—flowers grow and grass turns green....my new beginning for this season will be to create a Self-Care Vision Board! This board will serve as a dedicated reminder of all the strategies I can use throughout the year. If you are on board for this activity, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and complete address and I will send you one of my self care gifts!
In the meantime, remember—self-care is not selfish. We can no longer pour from an empty cup! Have an awesome spring and hope to hear from you soon️.