Self-Care: It’s All in the Attitude

Earlier this summer I noticed I was feeling “off.” You know, those times when you just sort of zombie walk through your days and nothing seems especially joyful or valuable. It was puzzling because I hadn’t really changed anything, and on the surface I was taking good care of myself.

I’d been reading a lot about self-care. It’s kind of a buzzword lately which I think is a good thing. We need it.

It seemed like that was the key to my struggle – but I was in the self-care groove. I meditate and journal each morning. I eat healthy foods and move my body. I get polarity therapy on a regular basis. I’m expressing my creativity, getting down time, going outside and visiting with family and friends. Yet I still felt like crap. What gives?

When I looked more deeply though, I discovered I was just going through the motions. I was checking things off my list – yup, I exercised today. Morning meditation? Done. Worked on my book? Did it.

I wasn’t feeling the joy that these things normally bring me. It was my attitude toward my self-care and spiritual practices that needed adjustment.

My focus was on “being productive” and “getting things done.” It was a logical, Virgo-brain sort of vibe and it wasn’t feeding my soul.

When I realized this I understood what I’d lost. I’d forgotten the reason why I do these things to begin with – to feel good, to connect with my spiritual source, to live in tune with my deep purpose. I’d lost touch with my heart’s desires and the blessings that flow through my daily life.

It was time to stop everything and get back in tune. How did I make this key attitude adjustment?

Little things. When I went swimming I breathed deeply and relaxed my body, enjoying the sensation of the water holding me up. I made gratitude lists every day for a week – not just writing down random items to be thankful for, but feeling my way into the sensations that felt most like blessings to me in that moment. I slowed down and allowed myself to savor each of my daily activities. I found delight in my writing, meditation and even things like doing the dishes or folding the laundry.

Sometimes we get scared and we forget about our intrinsic worth. We start to believe that we are valued for what we do, rather than for being who we are. On the surface it can look like we’re living a balanced life, checking off all the things on the list and tending to our bodies. Yet without the necessary attitude, self-care can become just another chore on that list.

Self-care needs to come from a deeper place of connection. We tend to ourselves because we are the vessels of pure spirit. We understand that in order to be of service to others and the world, we need to fill our cups. We desire this state of deep connection. We deserve it.

When you’re not feeling loved and supported – that’s a warning flag. Look at your actions and then take into account how you’re feeling about them. Re-connect with your heart. Slow down and take some time to just be.

You’ll return to your self-care practices, or develop new ones, with a greater sense of joy and meaning. This will allow you to feel nourished and uplifted as you move through your day. You’ll recreate your relationship to yourself and discover that you are truly blessed, when you allow it. Tap into your sense of well-being that springs forth from your connection to spirit and let your natural self-care fill you up so you can shine your light brightly and feel great doing it!

Nikki Starcat Shields is an author, writing coach and leader of transformational writing retreats. She's also a licensed Pagan priestess. She invites you to a process of unfolding creativity. The world needs your unique wisdom - now is the time to finally take your inspired book idea and bring it forth into the world. Learn more at

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