Lately I seem to be talking about self-care a lot in my therapy room. There seems to be an epidemic of people not taking care of themselves. What happens when we don’t pay attention to our needs over a period of time? Depression, anxiety, feeling lethargic, difficulty in relationships are just some results of this. People seem to be surprised when I tell them that one of the reasons they are feeling “off” is that they haven’t been paying enough attention to themselves. BALANCE is an important concept. So many of us spend our waking hours giving, giving, giving . . . looking after our kids, our spouses, working, cooking, cleaning, commuting, keeping all the balls we’re juggling up in the air. The problem though is that all of that is an energy suck . . . we keep expending energy but don’t refill our energy stores. Before long, we start running out of gas. Just like a car, we won’t perform very well without our fuel and we start to break down.
What is self-care? I could fill pages with suggestions but basically it’s us making ourselves a priority. Before you say that you don’t have time to make yourself a priority, I’ll tell you that it doesn’t have to be something that takes a long time to do. Meditating for 10 minutes a day is an example of looking after yourself and if you tell me you don’t have 10 minutes to spend on yourself, I’ll tell you that you don’t have a life. It’s time to do something about that.
Examples of self-care: meditation, journalling, exercise, going for a walk, taking a bubble bath, reading, listening to music, doing something you enjoy, crafting, spending time in nature, playing, laughing, spending time with friends, hanging out with someone you love, doing a spiritual practice, playing with your pets. There are many more. I’m planning on doing a series of blog posts of various ways to practice self-care.
What self-care isn’t: screen time (TV, Facebook, Instagram, etc) and doing things to escape from life, such as consuming drugs and alcohol.
Stayed tuned for upcoming posts on specific self-care activities. Let’s start taking better care of ourselves which will, in turn, help us to be happier and healthier.