The Self-Care Practices You'll Actually Do

I love wisdom quotes. 

I enjoy reading them (and underlining or highlighting them) in the books that I read.  I enjoy sharing resonant quotes that I find on social media.  I’m the kind of person who is always looking for insight, either in the form of lighthearted encouragement or in deep wisdom.

The right inspirational quote at the right time can be uplifting enough to keep you going through a challenging time.  A particularly serendipitous quote can be the perfect nudge in the direction you need to go.  Some might scoff at the idea, but I think coming upon the quotes we need when we need them is the universe’s way of helping us out.

So, as I sat down to write a post for this month about slowing down and savoring little moments in life, I saw this quote written on a legal pad on my home office desk:

“The best self-care practice is the one you’ll actually do.” 

I have it in quotes at the top of the page, as well as underlined.  The former English teacher in me is a bit troubled by my over-use of punctuation, but it is what it is. 

Farther down the page there’s some very rough notes about how I planned to write a post relating to this quote, but because it references fall break from over a month ago, I now realize that I went in a completely different direction for that post.

But the quote!  I don’t know where it came from, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m a bit of a sponge when it comes to nuggets of wisdom.

“The best self-care practice is the one you’ll actually do.” 

What I really enjoy about this quote is that it has a beautiful balance to it.  There’s the invitation and encouragement to practice self-care, and yet it is complemented by the understanding that practicing self-care can be quite a challenge. 

Acceptance of this reality takes the pressure off.

This is the wisdom that I needed to hear right now, at this time of holiday preparations coupled with concluding the semester and the calendar year.  I’m seeing and hearing messages in the media about parties and decorating and having the “perfect” holiday.  And around the corner is a new year with its requisite resolutions and goals.  It can all be a rather daunting.

So, I’m going to embrace the wisdom of the quote above and allow myself to be a little more realistic and a little less aspirational this December into January.  I’m going to continue to learn, grow, and refine my habits, but without putting undue pressure on myself. 

One of the foundations of self-care is to know what “fills your bucket” and rejuvenates you.  For me, it’s reading fun fantasy books and taking walks.  Some people seek silence and solitude.  Others seek the company of friends and family.  If you’re not sure what experiences give you joy, consider journaling and/or making a list to find more clarity.

Over this holiday break, I’m going to say “no” to whatever extras might distract me from what I need to feel rested and refreshed, and I encourage you to do the same.  Considering that I teach mindfulness and meditation, it’s probably not surprising that a big part of what restores me is my meditation practice. 

While I have personally benefited from meditation, I also know how challenging it can be to carve out time to practice. That’s why I’ve created an easy and accessible  low-pressure meditation challenge that invites you to meditate only five (5!) minutes a day

The “Less Stress in 2019 Meditation Challenge” starts January 1st and is designed to support your practice in a way that is totally achievable.  If you can carve out five minutes a day, you can create a daily practice that will support you in the year ahead.  And in addition to each day’s audio practice and mindfulness or habit-building tip, I’ve included one of my favorite things: wisdom quotes!  😊