Many people have been talking about self-care lately (your friend is talking about it and you read about it on social media) but what is it...? You are probably wondering: “Is it getting my nails done, getting a massage, going out with the girls? Gosh, it's so hard to keep up with the latest self-care trends.” Well, self-care is definitely not stressful, so if you are stressing out about it read below to get answers to the self-care questions you may have.
1-What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is focusing on yourself and doing something for yourself that makes you feel good. It is doing something that makes you feel at peace! It is that thing that you do that makes you feel on top of the world; you feel that you can accomplish anything, you feel that nothing can get to you, and you feel relaxed. If getting your nails done is stressful, painful, or just not fun, then getting your nails done is definitely not your self-care activity. Think about what fills your bucket and what makes you feel at peace.
2-How Do I Know What To Do For Self-Care?
We, as human beings can be complicated. Something that can help is thinking about 5 areas of our life: spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, and social areas. List 2-3 things per category that you can do for self-care. For example:
Spiritual: go to church or meditate.
Physical: go for a morning walk or lift weights.
Emotional: journal or go to therapy.
Intellectual: read or attend a class to learn something new.
Social: have a date night or a girls’ night out.
Once you have your list, there is work to do! Try doing the things on your list and write down how you feel after each one. Doing things this way will help you understand yourself better and identify what makes your eyes sparkle. If after church you feel empowered and have a sense of lightness, then going to church is one of your spiritual self-care activities. On the other hand, if going to church is just one more task on Sunday and it is a pain to get ready, get the kids ready, and you can only think about lunch during the service, then church is definitely not one of your spiritual self-care activities. Ideally, you should be addressing all 5 areas of self-care.
3-Now That I Know What To Do For Self-Care, How Often Should I Do It?
Great question! The answer varies... Something I tell my therapy clients is that they should do a self-care activity at least once a week but preferably they should strive to do something daily. For example: you can meditate, incorporate more vegetables in your diet, journal, and spend time with a loved one all in the same day while addressing different self-care areas. Ideally you should do something for self-care every day, which brings me to the next question.
4-How Can I Incorporate Self-Care Daily?
Another great question! It might seem overwhelming but it is actually pretty simple, you just have to be consistent. The way to incorporate self-care daily is by having a routine: this can be a morning routine where you read for 15 minutes (if reading is your intellectual self-care activity), it can be going to lift weights after work, or it can be journaling every night before going to bed. Stick to your routine no matter what; do it when you are on vacation, when your parents are visiting, and when you are feeling overwhelmed; self-care should be a priority. I’ll leave you with this quote “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” -Unknown
Self-care is different for everyone and what might work for someone else might not work for you. Identify what works for you and do it consistently.