A good question to ask to pinpoint your physical needs is:
- If my body could speak, what would it tell me it needs most right now?
(then really listen to the body's answer )
And to pinpoint how to satisfy your mental and emotional needs ask yourself:
- What would bring me joy right now?
- If I could choose, how would I want to feel most of the time?
- If time and money weren't an issue, what would I most love to do?
When we take restrictions (of time, money, other obligations, other people, appropriateness, etc) out of the picture, we get a really good view of our true needs. It's then on us how we choose to fulfil them, and which ones to prioritise over others.
The challenge with self-care often is, that in our culture we're encouraged to take care of everybody else first, and put ourselves last.
But the whole point of SELF-care is that we put ourselves first. It's that well-known analogy of "putting your own oxygen mask on first". Even before your children's, or anyone else's. Because no matter how much you want to be helpful to others, if you don't take care of yourself first, you soon won't be of any use to anyone either. Depleted, we can't serve the world. And it isn't fun to be depleted.
That's where I see courage come in.
Courage for me is the level to which we are willing to be vulnerable, or uncomfortable. Being vulnerable implies doing something that is uncomfortable, which feels so because it's unfamiliar.