That phrase is so often used as a parting gesture between friends or newly met acquaintances. But what you say has value. This phrase 'Take care of yourself' is a directive. It's not a question or a request. When we hear it over and over again hopefully something will register within us and we'll look at ways we can fulfil this very important task...taking care of ourselves.
Using your physical care as a symbol of your awareness is a tangible way to begin the process of 'taking care of yourself', and it was this pathway that worked for me. Once I began to take care of my physical self and the spaces I was inhabiting, I found that this connected to a whole new way of interacting with people and the world around me. It also expanded my awareness about the products I was using on my body and in my home. This is the beginning of self care when we can see what we are choosing has a wider impact upon the planet we inhabit. Talk about 'micro to macro' in a flash! The insight was dazzling...
One way to approach our self care is aesthetically. The way in which we maintain our personal appearance and space says a lot about who we are and what we find important (I am not talking about the most expensive outfit or the latest gadget, hairstyle or designer must-have). Your skin says a lot about what you are going through emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. Being able to self-monitor the quality and changes of your skin can help you to understand what choices you can make for improving your health, such as: relaxation/stress relief, pain reduction, physical activity, food and drink intake, sleep regime and how much alcohol you may be consuming.
Making small changes here and there can have rapid results...but that's not the optimum. It's actually better and more successful to bring in changes slowly and to acknowledge those changes one by one. This is powerful for your psyche to grasp and take notice of. What we experience becomes our truth.
In Feng Shui, the skin is represented as Metal element. If we are to exhibit another element's force onto it too quickly, for example Fire, Earth or Water, we can melt, weaken or crack the Metal. But if we gently heat Metal it becomes luminous, soft, luscious. If minerals (Earth) are added in low doses it fortifies the molecular structure. If we gently apply water it becomes 'tempered'; shiny, attractive and smooth.
Taking things slowly is a part of understanding the connections of energy within and upon 'things'. This energetic education and awareness ripples out from your experience into all parts of Life.
You may already have a great routine and not feel the need to take any of this on board, but even the most organised of us can get sidetracked when pressures of work, family and time are coming at us. My advice is to always take time out from 'the routine' and assess it objectively.
One of the best ways I've found to do this is with a meditation that suits me. Personally, I love walking around thinking. I find this helps get the cogs working,...and then a nature meditation; watching the treetops and birds, listening to the wind, being present for a whole sunset. Only then can those diamonds of insight shine brightly and illuminate the solutions I'm seeking.
For you it may be a luxuriously long soak in a quiet bath. Or a bit of paddle-boarding or yoga. Whatever your 'thing' is that gets your body happy and your mind relaxed, or your mind happy and your body relaxed, do that. Take care of yourself :)
Blessings for a good start to the year.