Self-Care Part 3
Excuses…Excuses… | Making Time for Self-Care
One of the main excuses people make for ignoring articles about self-care is that they just don’t have time. The great news is that there are many different self-care practices, and none of them are especially difficult or require a lot of planning. The trick is to find some that you genuinely enjoy and that fit with your life and values. Once you start adding emotional self-care to your life, you’re likely to become fiercely protective of that time and wonder how you ever managed without it!
Self-care can fit into five major categories:
Sensory: Finding calm and peace in the mind. Being able to tune into the minute details of the sensations you are experiencing around you allows you to more easily live in the present moment. The more in the present one is, the more effectively one can let go of negativity related to the past or apprehensions about the future.
When you are thinking about practicing sensory self-care ensure to incorporate all of your senses: touch, smell, sound, and sight.
- Cuddling under a soft blanket
- Focusing on the smell of fresh air on a mountainside or in the country.
- Watching the flames of a candle or fire.
- Noticing the water on your skin during a hot shower or bath.
- Focusing on the movements of your breathing.
- Lying down and listening to music with your eyes closed.
- Sitting in the heat of the afternoon sun.
- Having a small square of exquisite chocolate.
- Walking barefoot in the grass or on the sand.
- Having a massage with essential oils.
- Holding a pet in your arms
Emotional: Fully engage with your emotions; facing them head-on can actually help with stress. Rather than repressing your feelings like sadness or anger; feel them, accept them, and move on.
Remember that emotions are not “good” or “bad” in themselves, they take on the meaning you give them. You are not to blame for the emotions you feel; only how you behave in response to them.
- Keep a daily journal, and be totally honest with your feelings.
- Write a list of “feeling words” to expand your emotional vocabulary.
- Spend time with a close friend or family member, someone who truly understands you.
- Let yourself cry when you need to.
- Encourage yourself to laugh with old memories or funny videos.
- Sing along to the song that best expresses your current emotions.
- See a therapist, even if it is just for 8-10 sessions of general personal development.
Spiritual: Become in touch with your values and what truly matters to you. Developing a sense of purpose can be vital to living a successful, prosperous, and happy life.
- Practice a daily meditation or mindfulness routine.
- Attend a service, whether it is religious or humanistic.
- Read poetry.
- Take a stroll in nature; notice the natural beauty that surrounds you.
- Make a daily gratuity list, aim for 5-10 things.
- Create: find an outlet like art, music, writing, or something else entirely.
- State affirmations that help to ground your sense of self and purpose.
- Go on a trip with the sole purpose of photographing things that inspire you.
Physical: The source of health and vitality beings in the physical being; keeping your body healthy is also a key component of self-care. Physical activity is vital not only for your bodily well-being but also for helping you let off steam.
Physical well-being also includes napping (when your body tells you to), saying “no” to invitations (when you are too tired to enjoy them), committing to 7-9 hours of sleep nightly, and knowing your limits when exercising when you’re run down or unwell.
- Dance to your favorite song.
- Do yoga. (Even if you’ve never tried it).
- Join a class a learn a new sport, or dance.
- Jog with your dog (or a friend’s)!
- Cycle through the country, mountains, or less populated city streets.
- Go for a walk.
Social: Connecting with others is necessary for happiness (this many differ whether you are an introvert or extrovert).
Remember that you are not alone and that you can choose to do things with others not just for the sake of doing things…but because you are choosing to do things with people who really make you feel good.
- Make a plan to have lunch or dinner with a good friend.
- Email or send a letter to someone who lives far away, but who you miss.
- Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while.
- Consider joining a group of people who share your interests.
- Surround yourself with positive people; stop socializing with those who undermine or disempower you.
- Strike up conversation with someone interesting.
- Sign up for a class to learn something and meet new people at the same time.
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself & to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” – Mandy Hale