For many years, I’ve had to take some doctor prescribed medication. Some for pain. Some for prevention. And some of those medicines made things better. And some just helped me hobble along in life. And one day, someone suggested a little something called self-care.
Now there was a novel idea. Taking care of self. What on earth was that?! I was mostly sleeping when tired. Or trying to. I was eating when hungry. And when not hungry. Or when angry, frustrated, etc. I exercised… didn’t I. Chasing kids around, cleaning house, gardening. Wasn’t that exercise? And I visited my doctor regularly. To get the medicine described above. To have yearly exams to rule out this and that. Isn’t that self-care?
According to PsychCentral, “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”
Hmm, that took some thought. And what I came up with is this:
First, a hot bubble bath with some Epsom salts and lavender oil, and of course a good book to read. A lovely escape.
Second, a good massage. On a regular basis. Or more often. Just feel the tension slip away and the healing begin!
Third, stay in and watch a few episodes of your current favorite show. Enjoy a good snack. Relax.
Fourth, Sleep. Make it something sacred and important. Plan for it. Prepare your environment for it. Whatever it takes for it to happen every night and for it to be the amount you need and of the quality you need.
Fifth, saying no. You don’t have to do everything. Be at everything. Run everything. Orchestrate, organize, coordinate, arrange, manage, do everything. It’s OK to say no. Say no to what isn’t needful, to what isn’t you taking care of yourself. Or taking care of the truly important things or people that make your life a happy, abundant, and wonderful. Truly meaningful. Self-care.
Self-Care 101 by Maria Baratta Ph.D., L.C.S.W. on Psychology Today.
What Does “Self-Care” Actually Mean? by KRISTEN SULEMAN on Mental Health Match.
5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your Life
By Elizabeth Scott, MS