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Self Care: It’s More Than Taking a Bubble Bath

self care

Self-care has become a buzz word within the psychology/self-help world.  If you have read any self-help literature, you will hear over and over to “Practice Self-Care.” In my opinion, the phrase has been used so much it has become almost annoying.  I am tired of the phrase Self Care. It has been used and abused.

Self-care is not just something you practice on the random Saturday where you treat yourself to a massage or a mani/pedi (although that is wonderful).  Self Care is a way of life.  Self Care is a daily, hour by hour, minute by minute practice.  Self-care means listening to yourself, showing up for yourself and putting yourself first.  Self-care is the practice we have heard announced over and over again on the airlines “Secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.”

Self-care means

  • saying no when appropriate.
  • saying yes when appropriate.
  • handling conflicts directly and honestly.
  • listening to yourself.
  • taking a break when necessary.
  • living a life based on values.
  • showing up with presence and courage.
  • setting healthy boundaries.
  • practicing compassion, compassion, compassion
  • actively engaging in your life.

The thing about self-care is no one can tell you how you should engage in self-care.

Self-care is the art of pausing and listening to YOU.

For some people, a hot bath is the ultimate self-care activity.  For me, taking a bath is miserable.  My tub is small. My bathroom is chilly. Inevitably, I forget something that I wanted and leave a trail of water in my wake.

For me, self-care is not a one size fits all event.  It is a practice.  An act of truly engaging with yourself and getting real.

Here are some tips to add REAL Self Care into your life.

  • As you start your week and lay out your calendar of events ask yourself–do I want to be engaging in these activities?  Are there any of these activities I could skip/pass/reschedule?
  • Look at your calendar and ask is there enough time for me to re-group/re-energize? How can I add more?
  • Brainstorm activities you enjoy, have enjoyed, or want to enjoy and start making time to enjoy them. (even if it is only 5 minutes)
  • Do an inventory of the draining people and activities in your life? How can you limit interaction with these events?
  • Do an inventory of the energizing people and activities in your life?  How can you add more of these events?
  • Where is there a conflict hanging over your head?  How can you handle it in a productive/healthy way?
  • Add breathing rituals into your day–take the time to stop, take three deep breaths and check in with yourself.
  • Where are you putting someone else’s needs first to the detriment of your own?  How can you vocalize or prioritize your needs?

If we all practiced self-care–the world would be a better place.  Self-care is not a buzz word it is a necessity to Living Happier.

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