Gardening & Self-Care Basics
What gardening can teach us about the basics of taking care of ourselves.
I planted spinach, carrots, broccoli and basil seeds in indoor pots about a month ago.
I mixed the soil, planted the seeds, watered, and then put the grow lights on. It turns out that I had the right mix of the basic things these seeds needed to get started for most of the pots! All but one pot have seeds that are sprouted. They continue to grow and they will soon be transplanted into a shared garden. Planting these seeds got me thinking about how self-care is kind of like gardening. We need basic things in order to grow and thrive. There are no exceptions. Just like the seeds, we have a really hard time of growing into what we were meant to be if our basics aren't met.
These basics can be different given your life and circumstances. Finding a balance for yourself is important and often takes support. This is just like how I mixed the soil, watered the seeds and turned the lights on for them. Without that support, they could not have sprouted.
Sleep and rest are my foundation for my self-care basics. Without fail, a few nights of staying up late and my digestion gets really thrown off. I get a bit more irritated and don't have as much patience as I normally would. I know about 7.5 hours is my best amount and I strive to be in bed around 930-10 pm. Over time, I've noticed staying up consistently later than that also affects me even if I get all of my hours in.
At first I hated the insight, because sometimes I like to watch a movie with my guy and that will keep me up later than my “bed-time.” I came to learn that I can make decisions based on the situation I have in front of me. At times I'll choose the movie, other times I'll choose bed. Each time I learn a little bit more about how supporting my rest is important to me.
Other basics important to my body include: hydration-minimum 60 ounces a day, some sort of green vegetable each day, minimizing sugars, moving my body, and having some sort of creative practice each week (painting, coloring, journaling, or even baking!) I feel stuck and “blah” without these basics....and more energy and accomplishment with them. Everything seems to be a bit smoother during my day, and I have more ease, if I make the time and space for these basics. I'm supported by my partner and our dog for my nourishment and body movement, a friend for the creative pieces, and I've built some practices into my day to help me focus on hydration and rest.
The great news is that we all have the opportunity each day to support our self-care basics, even in small ways. We can view the times when we don't give ourselves what we need through the lens of learning and growing, to see how we want things to be different. We can notice how we feel when we are giving ourselves our basics and use those feelings as motivation to continue making supportive choices for ourselves. Leaning on others for support, how ever that might look, is also an important way to support the basic things you need to thrive.
(Are you wondering about the pot that didn't have any sprouts? Well, I think that I initially over-watered that one. It's a great reminder that too much of any one basic leaves out something else—balance through it all is so important!)
Do you know your self-care basics?
How is life different when you are able to take care of yourself?
How are you supported in your self-cares basics?