The Many Facets of Self-Care


True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don't need to regularly escape from.” - Brianna Wiest In my work as weight management and self-care counselor my clients and I uncover (and work through) their emotional eating patterns, based on the principles of non-judgment and loving-kindness. We take a look at the ‘true’ underlying reasons and core emotions, which cause them to reach for food in order to cope, to take the edge off (or numb), or to reward themselves after a long and exhausting day. Incorporating gentle curiosity and mindful self-compassion into the counseling process are essential for for being at peace with food and achieving long-term weight management success. Only when we allow ourselves to slow down, to pause, to reflect and ‘downshift’ can our true inner wisdom emerge. Bubble baths and a beautiful piece of German chocolate cake can be wonderful treats - something special to look forward to, however, true self-care means carving out time for ourselves so we can recharge our batteries, physically, emotionally and spiritually. A balanced life can be achieved if we attend to all areas of our life that need attention, i.e. letting go of those things, situations or people, which no longer support our wellbeing and our highest good. It can mean re-shifting priorities with regards to our work/life balance. Can you imagine working less and playing more? Can you envision not pushing so hard and allowing yourself more downtime? To quote Brené Brown: “It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.” How can you set an intention to be mindful of your energy levels? How can you raise awareness regarding your own need for comfort, relaxation and alone-time? Can you start to listen to your body’s messages and honor them? I have found that clients who say that they “need a treat” really need time out. Have the courage to say yes to yourself and no to other people’s demands. Only if and when we honor our own sacred energy reservoir can we give to others wholeheartedly. Self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Remember that you can’t give from an empty cup. Getting manicures or massages are wonderful self-care treats but may not be enough if one feels stuck in a difficult (or even) toxic relationship in their home or work life. There is always a solution once someone decides that they deserve to live a happy, healthy and wholesome life. Honoring our true needs can be seen as an act of self-love and self-empathy. When we live our life according to our values and follow our heart’s callings, the need to self-soothe with food or alcohol may naturally diminish or disappear. When we are at peace with our choices (which are in line with our true nature) we can celebrate life by eating beautiful meals, and food will have lost its role as mood regulator. Wishing you much peace and fulfillment on your journey! With love, Petra