“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 the Pisgah National Forest, a woman who attended the event shared, “I hear you Renee; I know prioritizing my self-care is so important but I have no idea what I need or even where to start! Any advice?”
I loved this question and I offered my friend the following three “baby steps” to help her cultivate the ability to check-in on what she needs in the moment:
1. 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!”
2. 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 try 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.
3. Try this “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 already making their self-care a priority. The self-care pebbles we drop in our pond today, create ripples for generations to come.
I’D LOVE TO SUPPORT YOU IN PRIORITIZING YOUR SELF-CARE ~ 3 UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES:
- 2023 Jan. – March ~ New Way of Being: Self-Renewal Groups for Women (in person/in Brevard). Connection = medicine. These are the conversations you wish you were having. In-person. 6 Sessions, Thursday evenings. Learn more. Sliding fee scale offered. **EMAIL INFO AT RENEETRUDEAU DOT COM TO RECEIVE A PRE-INVITE. **
- Jan. 27 – 29th ~ Awakening Your Wild Soul: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, the largest retreat center in North America and my fav (don’t delay; this deeply replenishing, meditative winter retreat always sells out). I’ll also be at Kripalu leading this retreat April 14-16 and Oct. 13-15! Learn more.
- Empower your employees to find their center in 2023! Schedule me to create a balanced living workshop, keynote presentation or 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 the American Heart Association, Kaiser Permanente, Ernst & Young, Women in Conservation, the Council on Family Violence, the Center for Women in Law, the Hewlett Foundation and more. Email workshops at reneetrudeau dot com. Learn more here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by work-life balance 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, Renee has been facilitating high-impact interactive workshops for Fortune 500 companies, national nonprofits/conferences and organizations worldwide for 25 years. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Fast Company, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 450 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups based on her pioneering self-care curriculum. 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; her latest venture is Wild Souls Nature Adventures. More on Renee here.