Self-care is an important topic that I believe we need to be constantly reminded of. I know that I am constantly reminding myself. Self-care is any activity that we do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It is a concept that can be easily overlooked and the next thing you know you begin feeling worn down, sick, and basically blah. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.
There are many ways we can take care of ourselves. I entered “self-care” into a google search and over 3.2 billion results popped up. To me, that means we are interested in taking care of ourselves, but sometimes we need a little help, some ideas, some reminders.
Taking care of ourselves is a balancing act, like most things in life. I picture a pendulum – sometimes we are going to swing towards one side of the pendulum. This is where we are extremely good at taking care of ourselves. Then sometimes we may find ourselves swinging too far in the other direction and now we are extremely good at taking care of everyone else. Which way do you swing?
Neither side is necessarily “good” or “bad.” The swings are going to happen. However, you want to find YOUR balance between the two. There are going to be times when you need to focus on yourself and swing the pendulum to one side. For example, when you are sick, injured, sleep-deprived, depressed, grieving, have deadlines, etc. Then there will be times when you will need to focus on the people in your life when they are sick, injured, grieving, etc.
The balance is going to be different for each of us. Innately some of us are more givers than takers and vice versa. So you may find that your balance swings a little more towards one direction than the other. That is okay. Don’t get caught up in comparing your pendulum swings to others.
It is all about finding what feels good to YOU. Not what feels good to your friends, family, spouse, etc. Depending on what is going on in your life, your swings are going to change. You are not selfish for taking care of yourself AND you are not a push-over if you genuinely enjoy taking care of others.
Here are some of the 3.2 billion self-care ideas I came across:
- get a massage
- read a book
- take a walk
- hang out with your pet
- take a nap
- have a picnic
- cook your favorite meal
- sleep in
- watch a movie
- go for a hike
- sit in nature
- sit quietly
- go to lunch with a friend
- listen to music
- take a bath
- do nothing
- light a candle
- call a friend
- try something new
- declutter an area of your home
When you find your balance, what feels right for you – your body, mind, and soul will thank you.
“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.” L.R. Knost