Do you take care of yourself? Most people would like to say “yes,” but when it comes down to it, have trouble listing the ways in which they do so. Here are a few thoughts to consider:
Am I seeking medical and emotional help when I need it?
Am I incorporating “down time” into my schedule?
Am I taking time to eat meals without rushing?
Am I “unplugging” from work after a certain hour?
Am I making time for socializing?
Am I showing compassion to myself and others?
Am I asking for help when I need it?
Am I allowing time for laughter and joy?
So what exactly is Self-Care? Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it seems simple, it’s something many people often overlook. Though it deals with the self, self-care isn’t a selfish act. In fact, good self-care is the key to a good relationship with oneself and others.
We have discussed Self-Care in an earlier blog post but this is a topic we can always give more attention to! Here are 10 additional things to remember when practicing self-care.
10: When in an emotionally stressful position…Remember the three “P’s”:
It isn’t permanent, it isn’t pervasive,and it isn’t personal.
9: Establish and enforce personal and professional boundaries: Saying “No” to emotions and responsibilities that don’t belong to you is an important act of self-love. Saying “yes” too much (when we really want to say “no”) can lead to resentment, burn-out and increased stress.
8: Focus on the four core components of resilience: Adequate sleep, good nutrition, regular physical activity and active relaxation
7: Nurture positive relationships: Make positive connections with those around you that nurture your sense of self and well-being. Limit your availability to those around you that you find emotionally depleting.
6: Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems: Everything in life is impermanent. Crisis will pass with time. We have been through this before and we can make it through again. Change is a part of living.
5: Step out of “Auto-Pilot”: Move toward your goals with decisive actions. Are we really seeking the things we want and desire in life or are we just doing “what is expected”?
4: Stay curious: Look for opportunities for self discovery. Having a sense of curiosity and wonder promotes increasing enjoyment, improves relationships and builds empathy for ourselves and others.
3: Avoid “should”: Using the word “should” often leads to judgment and critical thoughts of ourselves or others. To nurture a positive view of yourself, be mindful of these critical thoughts. Try replacing “I should…”with “I can…”,or “I want to…”. See if you can feel the different!
2: Avoid “All or Nothing” thinking: Keep things in perspective. As stated earlier, nothing in this world is permanent and change is a constant part of life. Rarely are things ALL good or ALL bad.
1: Focus on the Good. Practicing Gratitude reduces stress, improves relationships, decreases depressive symptoms and builds resilience.
Taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally is extremely important but it doesn’t have to be difficult. It also take practice and patience with ourselves. When you've taken steps to care for your body and mind, you'll be ready to live your life the way you’ve always wanted!
Submitted by Gordon Gooding, LCSW