Self Care 101
Updated: May 14, 2020
Self Care is a topic we as a society hear about all the time--so often, in fact, that it's becoming increasingly easy to tune out. We're sick of hearing things like "You can't pour from an empty cup" because often it feels like the choice is really between letting your cup dry up or starving to death because nobody else is going to do the grocery shopping and you only have a two hour window before the kids need to be picked up anyway. The thought of taking time for yourself in the midst of the tumalt seems impossible, and even if it wasn’t, how could you deal with the guilt of taking time out for yourself when the to-do list is only growing with every minute?
But there is another choice. Self-care doesn’t have to be overwhelming, time intensive, or emotionally draining. It doesn’t have to be in the form a $200 spa getaway. In fact, no one can determine what will work best for you. But you can begin to figure out what might help in three easy (and quick!) steps:
Step 1: Stop and Listen
If your car broke down, chances are you would take it to get fixed. From there, the mechanic would have to figure out what’s wrong with the vehicle. So what if he attempted that by blindfolding himself and yanking out whatever he touched first? Odds are, you’re not going to leave a happy customer--and you’ll probably be taking the bus home.
So when you feel broken down, tired, and like you’re out of gas--why would you try even harder to push yourself over a hill you can’t see the top of? Why not take the time to pull over and recharge?
Let’s look under the hood: Set aside even just a few minutes each day where you can be silent. Practice focusing on what your body, mind, and soul is telling you. For instance, do you feel like you don’t take enough time for yourself? Are you getting enough sleep? Is your diet healthy? Are you getting enough exercise? By evaluating your needs in each of these areas (mind, body, soul), you can begin to make a plan on how to nourish each part.
Step 2: Develop a Plan
Once you have taken stock of the areas of your life that are thriving (or not) then decide how you would like to nourish each part. Do you need to take small breaks throughout the workday to get some fresh air? Do you need to ask for help or delegate tasks? Do you need to start an exercise program? Would journaling be a helpful release? Remember, it is your journey and the possible strategies are endless.
Step 3: Get Started
The time is NOW to enrich your mind, body and soul. I often hear people say things like “I will take some time for myself once _____ happens” or “If there is time left over, then I will worry about myself.” Running through life with that mentality will probably end in burnout. We have to pay attention to our needs if we hope to give fully to others.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s make this buzzword more than just a good intention or a hope for the future. Each day, let’s focus on how we can start living life fully alive!