What Exactly Is Self-Care and Why Do I Need It?

What Exactly is Self Care and Why Do I Need It?

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
  • dancing
  • reading for enjoyment
  • knitting
  • painting
  • journaling
  • meditating
  • date night with your partner
  • doing nothing at all
  • swimming
  • burning a nice smelling candle
  • walking
  • visiting with a friend
  • seeing a movie
  • taking a class
  • playing hooky
  • listening to music
  • taking a bubble bath
  • gardening
  • seeing your therapist
  • painting your nails
  • coloring
  • taking a lunch break
  • star gazing
  • going on a weekend adventure
  • going to a religious service
  • praying
  • sitting with a purring cat in your lap

What is Self Care and Why Do I Need It?

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

 

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images: freedigitalphotos.net

Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and therapist in San Jose, specializes in helping you decrease stress and anxiety in order to create a peaceful and balanced life. With 20 years of experience, Sharon has helped hundreds of men and women overcome codependency, perfectionism, and self-criticism so they can embrace their authentic selves and build happy, healthy relationships. She has a private psychotherapy practice in Campbell where she is available for in-person short and long-term counseling. Sharon is also the author of Setting Boundaries Without Guilt: A Workbook to Move You From Doormat to Empowerment.

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