Zen seems like a great place to finish this series about self care. It might mean different things to different people but it could be a way to bring together many ways of caring for ourselves. To me it means balance, calm, a sense of centredness. It can mean accepting our circumstances, accepting those things that are out of our control and not wasting energy on things we cannot change.
All of these are crucial for our self care. They help us to stay grounded and feel encouraged to keep doing the things we need and want to do. They help us to be able to reach out to others, notice what others need and be open to supporting them when we can.
Zen might involve some form of spirituality, a connection to something beyond ourselves. It may be a formal religion or less specific. It can be a way to recognise our place in the universe, to feel valued and important both as an individual as well as part of something much, much bigger.
Zen takes time and effort. We might need to make some different decisions or choices to find, or make, the time to reflect, review and centre ourselves. We might be able to do this with others and that will take time and effort as well. An ongoing prioritising of what is most important to us means an assessment of our values and beliefs, keeping those that are meaningful, relevant and helpful while discarding those that are worn out or no longer fit.
We might think about special circumstances being required to find our own particular style of zen. Perhaps we think we need to be on holidays or in a paradise somewhere far from home. We will really be looking after ourselves best if we can find a way to find our own zen in our day to day lives. Building it in through self awareness and mindfulness.Taking extra time when we need to. Talking with others to help make sense of ourselves.