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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.”
- 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.