Revisiting what “Self Care” really means

Oct 25, 2016

Self Care seems to be a “buzz” term as of late.  Perhaps because we are starting to really understand and recognize the importance of taking the time for ourselves in the busy-ness that surrounds us.  There is a greater and greater link between an increase in stress and a decrease in health and happiness.

Taking time for Self Care is being recognized as necessary and not a luxury.

We lead much busier lives than ever before.  Typically two working parents in the home, with children who lead busier and busier lives outside of the school day.  Or if not the kids, we adults have busy work/social schedules.  More and more commitments outside of the working day for everyone now with the increased connection from newer technology and the increase in the expectation that we are “available” all the time, even during after work hours that should for all intents and purposes, belong to us.

We are all guilty of being too available.  Of having that phone in hand, ready to respond at a moments notice to any text, or message, no matter the hour or circumstance.  We are all guilty of putting many things ahead of ourselves and pushing ourselves further and further down the proverbial totem pole, because we are a kind and selfless bunch.  We want to give.  We want to be needed and to have to ability to help and be a solution to someone else’s problem.  The issue is, we often do more for others sometimes than for ourselves.  This leads to burnout.  Mental, emotional, physical burnout.  And, sometimes even resentment.  The solution to all of this lies only in our hands!  Self Care.

What is Self Care?  For everyone, this looks different.  It will be different for individuals based on whether you’re an introvert or extrovert… enjoy indoor or outdoor activities… prefer silence to noise… want to make small changes or big life improvements…

Really, it’s all about doing what speaks to you and not continuing to put it off for other things that make their way into your schedule.  Self Care is looking at your health and well-being and advocating for it.  Perhaps this means finally looking into the reasons for some ongoing issues, or maybe its just trying to find a balance with diet and fitness or avoiding the pressures of those same two things.  Maybe those are already top of your list but you have zero time just for you… Is it a yoga class that will meet that need?  An hour massage?  A cup of tea and a chat with a good friend or an hour with a good book?  Maybe it really is just that extra sleep your body is so desperately craving.  Self Care really is just about finding the time for you and for the things you push to the bottom of the list because they don’t seem urgent.  But, if you don’t address your own needs, they will become urgent.  Your health is dependent on constantly listening and responding to what your mind, body and soul needs.  Sometimes these needs are tangible, sometimes not.  The key is in listening to yourself… listen to your body and advocate for what you need.  Find time for quiet and listen to what your mind is asking from you.  Be in nature and let the energy of the earth fill your soul.

No one can provide Self Care for us.  We are responsible for how we treat ourselves and it’s time to take that back into our hands.  Schedule work during work hours and find a way to create and maintain those boundaries.  Turn off the phone when you walk through that door at night, or at least put boundaries on who/what you’re responding to and in what time frame.  Limit the extra curricular to the things that really meet your/your children’s needs and don’t steal from your time/energy for Self Care.  Build in Self Care time right into your calendar.  Pencil it in so that it needs to be booked around.  Then follow through with it.  Don’t steal that time away from yourself!  Advocate for yourself and know that there are many, many Health Care Practitioners out there that will help you do that if you’re struggling.  We are here to help you be the best you that you can be.  Sometimes it really is as simple as a massage, or a listening ear, or connecting with a group of likeminded people that can fill your Self Care cup.

Whatever it is, take some time to do it.