Being Active in Your Self-Care
Contributed by Imani Michelle from theimanimichelle.com
What makes you get out of bed in the morning? Think about something that is only about you (You can be selfish here). What gives you life like a breath of fresh air? Self-care is not only about healing. An important part of your self-care journey is nurturing your passions & fire and holding space for what makes you truly happy on the inside.
Why Self-Care = Nurturing Your Passions
Google the definition of self-care and you’ll see that self-care means “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.”
For me and in this context, self-care means preserving my mental and emotional health by not ignoring what ignites me and gives me life. Self-care means pursuing and nurturing my interests as an opportunity to grow and learn. It’s also a chance to seek after what makes me happy.
Can you really nurture your own mental and emotional health if you don’t acknowledge and tend to what you’re passionate about in this life? I don’t think you can (I tried it and one day I’ll have the courage to share how and why that doesn’t work).
Perhaps your life doesn’t allow you to pursue your passion(s) full-time. I’ve learned this doesn’t mean you stop pursuing this fire altogether! Take care of you by finding time weekly (even daily, if you can) to pursue your passion(s). You might have to get creative here, too. Say you’re passionate about aquatic life. Maybe one day or week you watch a documentary about aquatic life while researching a marine wildlife rescue center near you. The next week or month, you may read a book about marine rescue.
Not near a marine wildlife rescue? Find a local nature preserve. Most likely they have some type of conservation or volunteer opportunity available for local marine wildlife.
Bone up on your swimming. Summer may be over, but there are several indoor swimming facilities, your local gym or if you’re in Knoxville- try Ski Scuba Center. They have classes for all levels learning to dive.
Maybe you have to plan for a trip to pursue your passion. What training do you need to take to help? Research local classes to take or now a days you can find it online.
Does fitness spike your interest? There are many fitness classes and adult sports start in the fall. Sign up for something-anything-that speaks to you, your interests and your fitness level.
Perhaps you want to try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Not something I would jump at the chance to do but hey, it’s not my passion. Then there’s some low-impact activities such as Tai Chi- an excellent stress reliever by the way. Check with your local city event page. Many times these types of classes can be found for free.
But back to me (being selfish again), I grew up thinking that I knew what I was passionate about in my life.
I was wrong.
Maybe I wasn’t wrong per se but just confused. I ignored any other passion in my life thinking that I wouldn’t be happy pursuing those things. Do you want to know something funny? My friends and colleagues could see the things that light me on fire; they predicted that in the future, I’d being pursuing these passions. Of course, I laughed and didn’t believe them.
Low and behold though, I rediscovered my fire. And despite my endless fears and self-doubt, I’m wholeheartedly pursuing my fire with faith and hard-work.
Pursuing this passion (even if I can’t full-time) feels like I can function again. I feel lighter.
Determining Your Fire
If you’re reading this and can’t figure out your fire, consider these questions:
What topics do you find yourself willingly researching?
Review the accounts you follow on social media. Is there commonality among the accounts?
What were you passionate about before you had to pursue other career opportunities?
Do you enjoy watching documentaries with similar topics? What is that topic?
Think of the books that you’ve read. Which books did you enjoy reading? is there commonality among those books?
May your journey in pursuing and nurturing your passions be as freeing as mine.