What is self-care?
Self care is doing something for your own health and well-being. It’s something enjoyable. It’s a way of prioritizing yourself. It’s a proactive way to manage stress and ward off anxiety and depression.
I’m part of a self-care group for therapists where we share ideas and support each other in taking good care of ourselves. The other day I shared with the group that I was eating M&M’s while mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. This may have been sort of enjoyable, but it doesn’t qualify as self-care.
Sometimes we do things (like eating M&M’s and Facebook) to make ourselves better, but they actually make us feel worse.So, no, drinking a whole bottle of wine or spending all your rent money on a new outfit, isn’t self care.
You have to find what works for you.
For some people going for a run is self-care. For others it’s more like torture. If you’re not sure what you like, experiment. Here are some idea, but the possibilities are as big as your imagination.
- going to bed on time
- saying “no”
- eating fresh, healthy foods
- connecting with others
- playing catch with your dog
- reading for enjoyment
- date night with your partner
- doing nothing at all
- burning a nice smelling candle
- visiting with a friend
- seeing a movie
- taking a class
- playing hooky
- listening to music
- taking a bubble bath
- seeing your therapist
- painting your nails
- taking a lunch break
- star gazing
- going on a weekend adventure
- going to a religious service
- sitting with a purring cat in your lap
Why do you need self care?
Some of these ideas probably sound like fun. There’s a difference between squeezing in some fun when you have time and valuing self-care.
Consider what happens when you don’t practice regular self-care: You get tired, forgetful, short-tempered, sick, unfocused. You can’t sleep. You eat too much or too little. Self-care helps keep us in balance.
I have a free self-care planning sheet that you can download here. I hope it helps you prioritize YOU.
Counseling appointments are available in my San Jose office. I’d be happy to schedule a time to help you get your life back in balance.Make an Appointment