Here’s another one of those phrases that I like to call “untranslatable” - it’s not that they’re impossible to translate into Spanish, but they sound much much better in English, in my opinion, and you have to kind of explain their translation so that people can understand it well (other phrases and expressions here, here and here).
And today’s phrase is “back to basics”, which roughly translates to “Volver a lo básico”.
And what are the basics? Well, it depends on the topic that´s being discussed. If we´re talking about decoration, for example, or fashion, it might mean choosing simple colours and lines, instead of more complex styles. If we´re talking about primary education, it might mean returning to focus more on essential subjects like reading, writing, and maths. To me, the general idea conveyed by “back to basics” is that we have become so sophisticated (in whatever area) that we have forgotten what is truly important, the basis of it all, and we must return to it.
It´s a sentence that can be applied to many situations, at home, at school, and at work. Today, I´d like to propose that we use it as a reminder to look after ourselves.
Looking after ourselves first, so that then we´re able to look after others, or take care of our own tasks. Because, how often are our days so busy, and so full, that they go by without us dedicating any time or attention to ourselves? And by the time we realize it, we´re already out of energy, already exhausted.
It may be due to us believing that other things are more important, that other people must come first… But that´s not sustainable in the long run. I love the way Katie Reed expresses it:
Would you like to have the energy required to give the world the best of you? Then I suggest that you return to focus on these four basic pillars, if at any point you have stopped paying attention to them:
- Rest – getting enough sleep every night (enough hours of deep, restoring sleep), as well as taking short breaks during the day.
- Diet – keeping to healthy, balanced, and if possible, natural foods. Also, drinking lots of water in order to stay hydrated, and practicing conscious breathing every now and then, to help oxygenate each and every cell.
- Exercise – dedicating some time to move, even better if it´s outdoors, and often. If you choose something that you like and find motivating, you´ll be more likely to keep at it: your favourite sport, swimming, running, dancing, yoga…
- Connection – finding the balance between spending time connecting with others (as we are all social animals) and also connecting with ourselves, so that we can "keep our batteries full".
What do you think about these four basic pillars of self-care? Would you add any others? Which one do you think would be good for you to give more time and attention to, at this moment in your life?