Self-Care is an Act of Service

“Self-care? Don’t you mean self-loathe?”

I remember hearing those words a couple of years ago at a Harvard Business School Venture Competition. I was a finalist and that remark was made by an audience member during Q&A.

I couldn’t believe that out of a crowd of such brilliant people only one person recognized and connected with the term self-care.

I looked around me and saw sodas and factory-made “snacks”. I saw bags under eyes and I felt tension in the bodies of my peers.

I was saddened to see a group with such great potential, education and access to incredible resources make unconscious lifestyle decisions and just accept the resulting symptoms.

What I experienced is largely the norm. Self-sabotage, self-destruction and burnout are real and happening. In a community of change-makers and doers — those who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place, self-care is a must.

We take care of the world by taking care of ourselves.

As we give ourselves permission to detach from physical, emotional and mental trauma and simultaneously optimize our bodies and minds, our perspectives naturally begin to shift. The result: Greater alignment with our life’s mission.

As we boost our health and master our daily self-care rituals, we end up with more fuel than we know what to do with. As change-makers, this is a good thing. We can channel that fuel into greater clarity, focus, drive and fulfillment.

To many, the idea of self-care seems daunting. “What is my protocol? Where are my tools?”

In my experience as both a self-care seeker and an Optimal Living Coach, an acknowledgement of your hardships sets you off on the right foot. For example, you may wish to reflect on what’s depleting or draining your energy in some areas of your life, such as your work relationships, home environment, finances, romantic life, social life and health and wellness.

Questions to consider:

  • What’s making me sad, anxious or angry?
  • What’s keeping me up at night?
  • What recurring thoughts and feelings are disrupting my productivity?

Make note of your hardships, and then go through each one and affirm your willingness to overcome it. If conquest is clear to you, you may wish to write out the first few baby steps and set a time frame for yourself. Remember, baby steps are far more attainable than 5-year goals. If the path is foggy, focus on expressing and owning your willingness to change.

When we make our insecurities and needs known to us and intend to resolve them, we attract hope back into our lives. It is this glimmer of hope that begins to shift our lens. As our perspective shifts, even in the slightest, so does our reality.

New opportunities, ideas and feelings begin to show up that are far more aligned with our desires. It may feel like magic at first, but it’s really the power of our affirmations that attract these new outcomes.

Self-care gives us this power.

As we accept and embody this new guidance, our next steps are revealed. Broken down, it sounds simple. The problem lies in our falling back to old habits, resulting in a lower level of consciousness.

Here’s my recommendation: Make your #1 priority to check-in daily with yourself to ensure your needs are identified and addressed. How will you remember to do this? With our limited bandwidth for conscious decisions, this important task can easily be bumped off our intellectual list of priorities.

So, write it down in a prominent place.

Like me, if you’ve chosen to actively participate in bettering this world — to inject it with love, peace, equality, and opportunity — I urge you to act now.

Dr. Rhea xx


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