Humans are built to be versatile; we are so programmed to spread ourselves thin and pour our attention into outside projects, responsibilities, and jobs. By committing ourselves to the demands of the outside world, we are moving faster to burning out. More of us have experienced burnout than we’ve let on, and to admit that we need a break can be daunting. Sometimes we feel as though we don’t deserve to catch a break, but that couldn’t be more false. We are so willing to do what we can for others, but why is it so hard for us to care for ourselves? What does “self-care” even mean?
We all know the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup”, yet that’s what so many of us are used to doing. Life gets in the way and we become more accustomed to depriving ourselves of the care we need. We need to remind ourselves that we’re not machines – we need time to rest, reset our internal batteries, and simply exist. Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean to follow those cliche Instagram posts about bath bombs, pedicures, and facemasks, although those choices do exist. What many people don’t realize is that self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant. “Self-care” simply entails doing tasks that help ourselves fulfill our needs and wants, including physical, emotional, and mental. The concept of self-care is different from person to person, but that doesn’t mean it has to be seen as a chore.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Walking, exercising, stretching, bathing, grooming, resting/sleeping, yoga, cleaning, eating, drinking water, breathing exercises, and taking prescribed medications.
Writing, reading, journaling, doodling, coloring, meditation, positive self-talk, therapy, self-compassion, listening to music, and hobbies.
Setting appropriate boundaries, spending time with or calling loved ones, communication, positive social media, asking for help, and simply being around other people.
Remember, you deserve to treat yourself well and maintain your health. Setting boundaries and taking time for yourself isn’t selfish! You are worthy of relaxation and stress-free days.