“Self-care—the art of attuning and responding to your needs and desires, moment to moment—is not about adding something to your to-do list, it’s about cultivating a new way of being with yourself.” – Renee Trudeau
Recently while leading a retreat in CA (post-retreat photo above), I spoke to a couple who are both working from home full-time, juggling child care and really struggling. The dad shared, “I know self-care is important, but I have no idea what I need and I’m not even sure where to start! Any advice?”
I loved this question and I offered my friend the following three “baby steps” to help him cultivate the ability to check-in on what he needs in the moment:
- Morning body scan. When you first wake up in the morning, pause before you jump out of bed. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths and slowly scan your body from the crown of your head down to your shoulders, your torso, your hips, knees, feet and reflect on What do I most need today to feel nourished? It could be in the physical, emotional or spiritual realm. Sometimes my body says, “Kale!” and often it’s, “You need to bump that afternoon meeting to next week, you’re seriously over-scheduled!”
- Tune-in. Research in the area of self-compassion tells us that nurturing self-touch has a significant impact on our ability to feel kinder towards ourselves. Throughout your day, pause, put a hand on the center of your chest and ask, “What do I need?” The more you do this, the more natural it starts to feel. You can even do this in the middle of a work meeting or in the thick of a family dinner; attuning to what you need moment to moment takes practice but it’s the first step towards cultivating a daily practice.
- “Quickie” journaling. My favorite journaling exercise for whenever I feel out of alignment, overwhelmed or anxious, is simply pausing to check-in on these three questions (I keep a little journal and pen in my car and in my purse at all times): How do I feel? What do I need? What do I want? Women around the world who participate in our monthly women’s self-renewal circles have been asking these three simple questions for 18 years – it’s amazing how effective they are for helping you quickly reconnect to your needs and desires. My husband likes this exercise, too!
If you’re just starting a self-care practice, remember: baby steps, be curious and invite in self-compassion. Believing you are worthy of self-care and that it’s your birthright is a radical stance and takes courage. Ask for help and choose to be around people who are also making their self-care a priority. The self-care pebbles we drop in our pond today, create ripples for generations to come.
SELF-CARE SUPPORT FOR YOURSELF OR YOUR TEAM ~ HERE ARE 3 OPPORTUNITIES:
- **Available for a limited time as a download.** SOVEREIGNTY: A Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat A luscious, replenishing afternoon guided retreat experience with like-minded women. Poetry + singing + journaling + nature + connection + solo time + self-care resources + Yoga Nidra deep relaxation session. Step in to your personal power and sovereignty. Only $59 for the download. Learn more.
- In-person self-care support! Join me for a SOVEREIGNTY: A Women’s Self-Renewal Circle in Brevard, NC (meets March 2-April 28th; 5 Thursday evenings); email info at reneetrudeau.com and ask for details. Also, still a few spots left in Awakening Your Wild Soul: A Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat ~ May 6-8, Boone, NC. Learn more.
- Help your team/employees find balance in 2022! Schedule me to create a balanced living workshop, keynote or personal retreat to help your team, organization or employees feel less stressed and more resilient, creative and focused. For 20+ years I’ve been working with companies/organizations such as Women in Conservation, the Council on Family Violence, Merrill Lynch, the Center for Women in Law, the Hewlett Foundation and more. Email me, I’d love to discuss how I can support your team or organization. Learn more here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups for women based on her pioneering work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. She and her husband live in Western North Carolina and Austin, Texas and are enjoying a new empty nest. More on Renee here.