If you’re like me, the answer is probably, "I don't think so."
You probably make basic self-care a priority, (for example, I eat regular meals otherwise I get hangry.) But, beyond that, your to-do list is likely dominated by things that serve other people or things that improve your self, career or home.
This can come back to bite you in the ass. (Trust me on this.)
Putting self-care (which is not the same thing as self-improvement) and compassion on the back burner in your life can lead to chronic illness, depression, anxiety, insomnia, exhaustion, stress and a host of other problems. Plus, it can actually make you less helpful to others in the long run. (Like they say on airplanes: you have to put your own mask on, first.)
So, maybe it's time for a radical new approach.
Radical self-care is based on the notion that you are good enough exactly as you are right now, and that you deserve care and attention in order to become the person you were meant to be.
Sounds nice, huh? But, what does that actually mean?
Well, maybe you’re a person who is prone to carrying some extra weight—it’s just the reality of how your particular body is made. You accept that reality, but you also make it habit to avoid sweets and go on regular walks (self-care) to help your body function better where it's at right now.
Radical self-care is the stuff you could do above and beyond that basic care-taking. For example, maybe you buy a CSA share for the summer to radically introduce more vegetables into your diet. Or maybe you make a conscious choice to spend less time with friends who like to go out binge drinking, since the damage that does on your body can undo a week's worth of self-care.
When you decide to invest in radical self care, you are making a decision that proactively caring for yourself is more of a priority to you than seeking a promotion, buying a cool new gadget or Instagramming what you ate for dinner. Your health and happiness is more important than your temporary comforts, entertainment, success, popularity or wealth.
And THAT, my friends is a very radical thought indeed.
(Especially since we, as a society, champion people who operate from a place of depletion and busyness and put everything on the line--including their health--in the quest for fame and glory.)
Understandably, radical self-care is a hard concept for people to wrap their brains around (myself included) and even harder to put into practice.
Sadly, for many of us, the idea of investing that much energy in ourselves seems exhausting and frivolous.
So, what if we simply decided to focus on radical self-care for just 30 days?
How might such a commitment transform our lives? What energy and space might it free up for us to contribute to our families, relationships, careers and communities?
Are you interesting in finding out with me?
How about, starting on June 1, you and I give this radical self-care thing a go and just see what happens?
What should you do during your 30 days? Well, I guess that depends on what you, personally need most.
As a starting place, I've co-opted some ideas from other people's radical self-care challenges and augmented them with some ideas of my own to get us thinking.
(Note: you do not need to do ALL of these things!)
To be honest, I don't know what the rules are for this challenge. (Maybe there aren't any.)
I guess, to get started, look at the list above and decide what you want to do starting June 1...
It's up to you. It's your radical pledge.
Once you choose your projects, write them down and share that list with others to hold yourself accountable. Then, starting June 1, start radically caring for yourself--however that looks for you.
I'd love to hear how the challenge goes for you. If you choose to participate, feel free to leave comments below or connect with me via social media to share your thoughts. We can even hashtag this sucker #RSC and share stuff that way, too.
Good luck! I hope your June is amazing.
*This is an actual psychological technique. For example, Dwight D. Eisenhower used to control his temper by writing down his angry thoughts and then burning them.
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The Social Cyborg blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.kaneconsulting.biz.
I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator & speaker with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.