On an airplane, an oxygen mask drops in front of you. What do you do? As we all know, the rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others.
By definition, the term self-care refers to any activity that we deliberately do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. The benefits of good self-care are many, including improved mood, reduced anxiety, and a good relationship with oneself and others.
It sounds like an easy enough concept, but it’s something that is often overlooked with demanding workloads, personal commitments, and extracurricular activity schedules. The trick to making sure self-care actually happens is to schedule it as a standing appointment that you have with yourself.
Some people may think that taking time each week, every few weeks, or every month to do something that we not only enjoy, but something that refuels and recharges us is selfish, but it’s actually the complete opposite. It’s about considering our needs and knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, which in part allows us to take care of and give to others.
Self-care means different things to different people, but here are some great ideas to get you started:
Treat yourself to a spa service such as a manicure, pedicure, or massage
Take a bubble bath
Get lost in a good book
Take a nap
Watch an episode or two of your favorite show
Spend time with loved ones
Workout - this can include working with a personal trainer, attending a fitness or yoga class, or working out by yourself or with a friend. Choose an activity that you enjoy.
Watch a movie at home or the movie theater
Treat yourself to coffee or lunch
Create a “no” list, with things you know you don’t like or you no longer want to do. Examples might include: not checking emails after 6pm, not attending gatherings you don’t like, or not answering your phone during lunch and/or dinner.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?