Self-Care is Not Selfish, It’s Essential: 5 Spiritual Self-Care Lessons I Learned When I Got Covid for Christmas
When I got sick over Christmas, I jumped into self-care mode to nourish my body and get myself well again. But I didn’t expect the spiritual self-care lessons I ended up learning during that time.
From gaining a real understanding of what it means to protect my energy to watching my mindset shift before my eyes, getting covid over the holiday taught me a lot about myself and what matters the most to me.
No matter what our toxic overworked society tries to tell you, remember that self-care is not selfish. And by making your spiritual self-care a priority, you will automatically become happier, healthier, and more clear in your thinking.
5 Practical Spiritual Self-Care Tips
Mental and emotional stress, worry, and frustration can take a toll on your body, even when you're healthy. So, I made it a priority to protect my aura and peace while I healed from covid.
This included protecting myself from my own fears of ending up in the hospital and getting over my exhausting habit of chasing perfection.
I had to get out of my own way and learn some new methods of spiritual self-care in order to get better.
You'll find 5 of them below!
1. Protecting your energy is essential for good health.
I’m usually highly productive, juggling multiple projects at a time within my business, my full-time job, and my personal life.
In the weeks before I got sick, I was feeling agitated and lost. And my illness became the perfect excuse to rest, reset, and come back to myself.
I shifted into a very protective, nurturing mindset in order to heal. This included being extremely intentional about the energy I surrounded myself with, down to what I would watch on TV.
My favorite shows typically involve true crime, suspense, and high drama. I love that feeling of being a little stressed and on edge while I watch a crazy story unfold, but not while I was trying to get better.
When I would watch TV, I chose sitcoms because I wanted to create an environment where I felt comforted and allowed myself to laugh. Laughter is still the best medicine, right?
Because of this, I was also mindful about who I spoke to and what I told them.
My friends who are more emotional and tend to worry were left out of the loop. Although I knew they would’ve meant well, I didn’t need or want anyone constantly checking on me and saying things like “Aww, you poor baby.”
I knew I wasn’t on my deathbed and my and although I was feeling pretty miserable, my symptoms weren’t all that bad.
But of course, I was nervous based on all of the scary reports I’d been seeing on the news since the start of the pandemic. While I was doing a good job at keeping my nerves at bay and my thoughts positive, I didn’t need anyone to project their fears onto me or cause me to worry.
2. There’s always room for more veggies.
Meal prep is by far the most important thing I’ve done to maintain my weight and health throughout the years. If I didn’t prep healthy meals every Sunday, it would be impossible for me to ignore my endless cravings for cheesesteaks and fried catfish during the week.
But while I’ve done a good job at eating clean most of the time, I've still had room for improvement.
I like to take a holistic approach to healing whenever I'm not feeling well. So, when I got sick, my medicine was the food I ate.
I doubled the amount of greens I consumed, drank more water, and fell in love with making tea from fresh ginger root, lemon juice, and honey.
I truly felt like I was taking good care of myself and that made me feel really grateful and good about myself. And these things are now permanent fixtures in my diet.
3. Your tribe is your safe place. Don’t take it for granted.
I didn’t really care much about the holidays in my first decade of adulthood. I would work if it meant getting paid double for showing up on a day none of my coworkers wanted, or I’d straight up leave town, or choose to spend that time alone instead of with family.
I noticed that my priorities had shifted on Thanksgiving when I was genuinely excited about spending the holiday with my family for the first time in a long time.
When I wasn’t able to spend Christmas with them because I was sick, I felt a little heartbroken. I actually missed my mom and wanted to play and make fun of my brother.
I wanted to be surrounded by the energy of my people with our shared weirdness and jokes. It was uncomfortable for me to see myself feeling so sappy, but it inspired me to make some changes going forward.
For me, spiritual self-care now needs to include spending time with people who love me.
4. Staying present will keep you from becoming overwhelmed and losing your mind.
When I was sick, I watched a few episodes of sitcoms and read a bit, but I spent most of my time sitting in silence and focusing on where I was from one moment to the next.
And because my main focus was wellness and keeping my stress and negative thoughts low, I honed in on the power of my mind through meditation and controlling my thoughts.
This level of mindfulness helped me to notice some toxic thought patterns and beliefs that I had been holding onto. Since I had declared they were no longer allowed, I witnessed them fighting for my attention while I resisted.
It was an interesting tug of war between my limiting beliefs and the affirmation that I used to bring myself peace and comfort.
As I repeated, "I am healing" in my mind, I was still aware of the negative vibes and deeply rooted fears that were trying to come through.
I was able to laugh them off and choose not to judge, attach, or entertain them.
This method of spiritual self-care taught me that no matter what your circumstances are, you can still choose to feel peaceful and happy inside. It's about your mindset, not your circumstances.
This is what I meant when I wrote "How I'm Reframing My Thoughts to Harness My Inner Power to Cultivate Freedom and Inner Peace" last month.
5. Taking imperfect action is better than not taking any action at all.
I don't think I'm doing my best writing today. I still have some brain fog and I've been feeling cranky and unmotivated. But I'm still writing because writing feeds my soul.
I've had a ton of writing gigs and my childhood career goal was to become a writer, so I feel extremely blessed to be in the situation where I am right now. I'm writing for the blog on the website that I own for the business I created from my heart. I created my dream job for myself and I will always be grateful for that.
Having covid taught me how important it is to take imperfect action this way. I usually am a perfectionist and I've driven myself nuts freaking out over small details. But when I was under a pile of blankets with a fever, yet feeling like my achy body was freezing, there was no freaking out about every tiny detail.
I didn't have the energy or brainpower to even try going that route.
I just needed to take care of myself and I became okay with things being messy, imperfect, and not so pretty.
Sometimes you just need to take imperfect action to get shit done. Period.
My most important takeaway here is that spiritual self-care is all about creating an environment where I feel loved, at peace, and nourished.
It can be difficult to pause and tap into that energy when I'm working and juggling all the different roles I've gotta play, but my time with covid has reiterated why it is so important to remind myself that self-care isn't selfish and to make my spiritual self-care a priority.
I really do believe that without a commitment to spiritual self-care, my inner world would be a chaotic mess and I'd be knocking on depression's door again.