Compassionate Psychological Care

What's This Whole Self-Care Thing?

You might be hearing a lot about this whole Self-Care thing right now, but what is it really? What does it look like when you practice Self-Care and why is it important? Or you might be saying to yourself, I don't have time for self-care! And I totally get it, we are all busy people with lots of things going on in our lives. But here's why I think self-care is important, what self-care can look like, and how I make time for it in my life.

Why is Self-Care Important: As adults, especially as parents, we tend to be running around taking care of everyone but ourselves. And when this happens we can get really run down, which can make us unpleasant to be around. I know when I'm not practicing self-care I tend to have less energy, be more irritable, and less efficient. And those who are around me a lot, can usually tell if I've been cutting out taking care of myself.

What Self-Care Can Look Like: Whenever I talk to people in session about self-care, I get a lot of yoga and bubble baths, but that's not what self-care has to be. Now, don't get me wrong - I love a good bubble bath, but that's not the only way people can take care of themselves. Here are some things I do for self-care:

    *     I go to the gym

    *     I listen to music - stereo blasting, dancing, singing along listen to music

    *     I hang out with friends

    *     I get enough sleep

    *     I build puzzles or legos

    *     I eat well

    *     I snuggle with my dogs

Now, I don't do all of these things every day - nor do you have to. But there are some that I practice pretty regularly; for me the big three are Sleep, Eating, and Being Active, so I try to make sure that I prioritize these. The bottom line is self-care is anything you do that makes you feel recharged and energized.

How I Make Time: Most of my friends and family don't see my self-care as self-care all of the time because of how it effects my schedule. I'm up at 5am every day to get to the gym, which is 2 hours earlier than I would be if I slept in and went straight to work. I get the question, "Wouldn't it be more self-care if you slept in?" And for me, the answer is no going to the gym energizes me, helps me get through my day better, and when. I get up that early I don't suffer from the normal insomnia that has plagued me throughout my adult life. I also notice that if I skip the gym I eat worse throughout the day, am tired and dragging all day, and I have more trouble sleeping. The bottom line for me and my own self-care is that:

    *     I am important

    *     I need to take care of myself

    *     I make time for the important things I need to do in my life