Part 2 of a three-part series by Sephra Khan (August 31st 2021)
As we continue to explore lessons from my experience from the last 18 months, this week’s article will be looking at Lesson Two, Self-Care.
Lesson 2: Self -Care
I have always been an advocate of self-care. It has been the grounding force for many of my life’s challenges and uncertainties. Self-care is a tool that enabled me to wade through the pockets of sludge and arrive above ground, intact, stronger, and shinier than I had been before. Self-care gives me the strength to come back to myself when I feel depleted, stressed, confused, or afraid.
Being cooped up in a home no bigger than someone’s kitchen and working at times with emotionally deprived teens and adults, I felt the world’s heaviness and fear weigh in on me. Remembering the effects of stress I had endured in the past, I realized that I was no good to anyone on a sinking ship if I did not have the strength and energy for myself to be able to serve the people who were in need of my light. So I carved out boundaries that allowed me time and space for self-care to rejuvenate and restore.
So what is self-care? Self-care are simple strategies that one uses to feel resilient, valued, and healthy – emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is little acts we give ourselves to come back to a place of oneness. For example, after a long day performing online and managing the emotional heaviness of the world we were in, I would go outside and walk for at least 30 minutes. I pounded out my frustrations, danced my way back to joy, and had the wind bathe me, washing away the clouds that stuck. I also took time every day to do 10 minutes of mindful breathing as I noticed that when I was thinking and problem-solving, my breath became short, shallow, and brief. By closing my eyes for those 10 minutes, I filled up my lungs purposefully and with intention, giving gratitude for life and permission for my body to relax.
I laughed with friends on phone calls, spoke to my therapist for words of wisdom, and when I could get care physically and safely through massage, physiotherapy, and osteopathy. I soaked in the most delicious baths, wore my favorite dresses, and wrote the most luscious words in my journal. Even my friends with demands of young children and domestic chores would do little acts of self-care so that they were filled up with energy and light to help not only themselves but those that depended on them.
Self-care is all about feeding the body with things that make us feel energized, seeing images that make us feel happy, hopeful, and joyful inside. It allows us to engage in activities that move our body to feel alive, fortified, and whole.
Self-care boosts our immune system by alleviating stress which can be taxing on our systems. Look up ideas of self-care so that you can find the right balance that suits your personality, lifestyle, and budget. It does not need to be fancy; it just needs to make us feel grounded and whole.
As part of your journey of life, I invite you to explore self-care this week. Find something that is small, doable, and simple that shifts your current state into one that feels more grounding and present for you. In the meantime, I look forward to sharing with you my last lesson which taps into a vital communication tool that is a win-win for everyone.
Sephra Khan is a lifelong educator who is open, curious and deliciously happy! Always seeking to cultivate more awareness, flow and creativity in people. Practices and educates on an integrated, balanced approach to life (one that is holistic, diverse and inclusive). She is currently a guest writer for LIVE YOUR POTENTIAL.