This week’s Dance First Member Insight is from 5Rhythms dance, dharma, and meditation leader Lucia Horan!

Pillars of Self Care 
Let the love you give yourself,
become the fuel for the love you give others. 
There has never been a more important time than the era of COVID for us to reflect on our self-care practices. Most people I know are experiencing some kind of fatigue or burnout. Most of us are also living in a world where caregiving is a part of our daily lives: for our children; our parents; our professional fields. This caregiving is essential and can be exhausting.

Now, we must practice what we preach. We must remember to not only care for others but also to care for ourselves. Most people spend more money on the upkeep of their cars than they do on their bodies. Why are these practices seen as indulgences rather than practices of sustainability and longevity?

I challenge everyone reading this to contemplate your relationship with self-care and to make a pledge to give yourself what you wish others would give you.

Why do we so often feel short-changed, giving more than we receive? Maybe it is because we don’t give ourselves enough? Or because we don’t value self-care enough to prioritize it? So I ask here, how much time do you spend attending to your own needs? How far down on the list of priorities do YOU come?

To maintain balance in this chaotic, unpredictable, and sometimes life-draining world, it is crucial that we also take care of ourselves. This is not luxury. This is necessity. This is practicing what we preach, so we do not burn out, shut down or go into empathic distress. If we maintain a secure commitment to the pillars of self-care, we can live a balanced, full, and passionate life.

I ask a lot of my body as a dancer and teacher. I commit to regularly receiving high-level bodywork (massage, chiropractic, acupuncture).

I consider sleep a crucial part of my daily restoration. I commit to getting 8-10 hours of sleep per night. I believe in the healing nature of the body’s innate ability to restore by having a habitual sleep cycle. I go to bed at 10 and wake up at 7 almost every day.

Being in a field of somatics and embodiment, I hold space for deep life and death issues. My heart and spirit need tending after being with so many in despair. I commit to being in nature every day, breathing fresh air and exercising. It is my church. Here I pray and tend to my own heart and soul.

I spend a lot of time with others as a professional, a wife, and a mother. I also commit to time alone each day for myself.

Like all of us, we need physical contact to maintain balance and feel loved. I commit to the path of kind, loving affection with my husband, daughter, and friends.

Lastly, but not least importantly, I commit to eating balanced, healthy, organic meals and being well hydrated each day. This takes work, planning, time, and resources. But it is well worth the effort that is required. I feel healthy when I eat healthy. Happy gut, happy heart.

With love and humility, I challenge you to consider and write down what the pillars of your own self-care are? Make a list and commit to spending time each day maintaining a balanced life so that you don’t burn yourself out. The world needs you now. And if you can’t serve yourself, you have no business trying to serve others.

Now is the time we all need to resource ourselves so that we can continue contributing to the healing of this world. The act of self-care and self-love will overflow and become the love you give others. The more you give to yourself, the more you will have to give to others.

Prioritize yourself. You matter. Your work matters. The world needs us to be in balance for the betterment of all beings. May it be so!

In love and light,

Learn more about Lucia Horan and her offerings at: 

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