Do you recognize this? When you feel like giving yourself a treat, you go and look for it outside your regular environment? A short getaway to be away for a while? But away from what, one may wonder?

Wouldn’t it be better to change your regular environment? Take a different stand towards your daily routines? Re-apply the energy it takes to do on a daily basis what is expected of you? Or what you think is expected of you? Or what you expect of yourself?

On coming back from their holidays, some people tend to get the holiday blues, with their time-out having been so nice that they are reluctant to return to the daily treadmill.

Todays inhabitants of the fast-moving society, are constantly directed through stress, with adrenaline consistently urging the body to go to its limits. In some ways this is even experienced as pleasurable because the hormones responsible for making us active, also have the added effect of making us feel ‘on top of the world’.

In itself ‘stress’ is a healthy and natural response of the body to take action, a mechanism humanity has tagged along since the dawn of (wo)mankind.

In our hunter and gatherer days ‘stress’ was desperately needed to outrun the sabertooth tiger or hunt for food. But 5000+ year ago, that wasn’t something we did all-day-long.

There was no 70-80 hour ‘saber-tooth-avoiding-working-week’. Nor was there the necessity to be able to buy all sorts of material trophies; possessions of which commerce tells us we can’t live without them.

Yet what do these trophies actually bring us? Peace and quiet? Relaxation time? Can we finally unwind when we have the latest television sets in our rooms to watch the latest news? Or the latest action-movie? Does our daily environment support our self care needs? Or is the balance somewhat off, slowly undermining the constant flow of energy; if you don’t watch it, to a point where you desperately need a holiday…

Maybe it’s time we did what our ancestors did and weave holiday self care into daily life.
The Hunter and Gatherers certainly weren’t hunting and gathering all day. They took their moments in between, made sure they were as comfortable as possible during what was expected of them. They certainly didn’t take a break for a couple of days to be away from it all.

Literally for a start, a simple way to achieve this in today’s world, would be not to jump out of bed immediately after sleep but take some time instead. As if you are on a holiday. Stretch. Take a look out of the window. Take it easy. Make yourself some breakfast. Sit yourself down and observe your environment, like you would on a holiday. Take a few moments entirely for yourself; repeat that a couple of times throughout your day.

Another one is: Don’t rush. If you’re late, you’re late. Being anxious about it does’t change being late. Getting up or leaving 20 minutes earlier,- taking your time-, does.

And it doesn’t require any material trophies.
It’s free! It’s within you and always there when you need it.
It’s the Art of Self Care

Ingrid Schippers, September 6 2016

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