Self-care has become a buzzword within the psychology/self-help world. If you have read any self-help literature, you will hear over and over to “Practice Self-Care.” 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 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 act 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 genuinely engaging with yourself and getting real.
As you start your week and layout 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.