What is self-care? Why is it so important that I find a need to start a blog devoted to it?
Obviously, it is care for the self, but that is the most simple way of explaining it. Self-care can mean a multitude of things depending on who you ask. Basically, it describes the things that one person does to maintain or achieve peace and health.
Let me begin this blog by introducing myself, and explaining why this is important to me. Then we’ll get to the good stuff.
My name is Gretchen, I am a Massage Therapist, owner of Integrative Therapeutic Bodywork in Boulder, CO. I grew up all over the world, but after living in Boulder for 6 years, I consider myself a Colorado Native (I was born here too!) Anyone who lives in Boulder will understand why living here has changed me in more ways than I can explain. I live amongst the healthiest people in America, and that makes me feel pretty damn unhealthy. The good thing is, being unhealthy in Boulder generally means you’re still healthier than most Americans.
Over the past year I have been studying Herbal Medicine, and just like when I went through massage school, I have learned so many things that have struck passion within me. My studies have been compromised of healing with foods, essential oils, flower essences, and of course, herbs. I began my practice originally believing I would have the knowledge to help people heal, but I soon learned that I was learning how to heal myself so that I can inspire others to heal themselves as well.
My journey has led me to having the firm belief that self-care is perhaps the most important key to healing. Self-care is not only the practices one uses to maintain harmony in their lives, but the time and attention one spends on themselves. Now, I grew up learning not to be selfish, so originally the idea of self-care seemed selfish to me. As I have studied, however, I have learned that it is perhaps the least selfish thing one can do. Why?
When I began my journey of self-care, I had encounters with people who had maintained self-care practices for years, and those were the people that inspired me. They were emitting a glow of inspiration just by taking care of themselves on a daily basis, and being somewhat of a beacon for me and others who were beginning the path just as I was.
There are also those who believe that every conscious action creates a ripple-like effect on the entire human race, so that when one person does something, it can subconsciously encourage other people to do the same. So, when you do something good for yourself, the entire human race is encouraged to be good to themselves too.
This is why I believe self-care to be un-selfish. The more we do to take care of ourselves, the more others will do the same. We simply cannot become healthy as a race by trying to take care of each other first, because that inspiration is gone. When you help yourself, you are helping the ENTIRE human race. Now that’s pretty damn spiffy.
This blog will be dedicated to the many forms of self-care out there. The possibilities are endless! I will express the ways I have learned to care for myself, and quite possibly will be offering other people’s experiences as well. When I began my own self-care journey I was discouraged because I thought it was all yoga and meditation, which I am just not good at. But, it can be anything that nurtures you in a healthy way. (No, mom, ice cream isn’t self care!)
Let’s start with my favourite form of self-care. This probably won’t be news to anybody, as it is the best-known ways women have learned how to cope with stress!
The Bubble Bath ~
Ahh, the bubble bath. Why is it that even typing those words I get all calm and warm inside? I have been known to take multiple baths a day (sorry Africa…) because it is the easiest way to get away from the world and to make my muscles relax. Lately I’ve been lucky to have a day without muscle soreness (more on why in a later post), and baths are the best. thing. ever. But did you know that there were many ways to enjoy a bath that can allow you to get even more relaxation out of them? Try some of these little “upgrades” and your baths wont just seem like normal baths anymore.
To finish off this post, I want to thank all who have inspired me, and all who have been inspired by me. This blog is my own form of self-care at this junction in my life, and my hope is to continue to inspire myself to be a beacon for others. I am not yet at the height of my self-care practice, and have much more to learn. I am very excited to start this journey!