I don’t ever recall being taught self-care in school-back in the 80’s/90’s. Maybe it was, and I just never payed attention? However, a recent poll that I posted, resulted with 99% of all who participated, having had no recollection of ever being taught on the subject either.
Math, science, social studies, language, etc… all of those classes where beneficial to develop our minds as children and into adolescence, however, with the rising number of mental health illnesses today, perhaps something as simple as a class designated just for self-care would have been a gift.
It gives my soul some comfort in knowing that, at the school my children attend, the kids today are receiving some teaching on mental health and how to deal with feelings and emotions. My children are being taught strategies such as: Meditation, praying, journaling, physical activity, talking to someone you trust.
Thinking back to pre-kids, I don’t think I ever even put those two words (self and care) together in a sentence. No one ever taught me what self-care was or what the benefits were. More than that, no one taught me that self-care is not selfish.
I learned to adapt to stressors and I developed a belief system that had me tolerating, and even worse, accepting all forms of stress. I believed that stress was something that I had no control over and that somehow I’d find the strength to embrace the anxiety and simply learn the lesson that came with it. I never paused to consider that I had tools available and at my fingertips to help lessen the stress.
In summary, my belief was: Self care=time waster and selfish. After all, who has time, I thought, to get all ‘in depth’ when there’s so much that needs to get done! Little did I know, that organizing and getting things done, such as, cleaning out the kids closest, IS a form of self-care. By cleaning out your kids closets and getting it done, it prevents the day after day stressor of needing to get the closets cleaned out! (If you want to have weight lifted off your shoulders, clean out and organize that space that JUST came to your mind. (Practical self care) Don’t get overwhelmed. Tip: Start with just one drawer.
Let’s review some different forms of self care and just a few examples that go along with them. While you’re reading through, make a mental note of what self care practices you have no problem turning too, but more importantly, which ones you leave on the back burner.
Emotional self care:
Engaging in activities that help you to connect with your emotions.
Ex: Journaling, time for yourself to do whatever you feel like doing- HAVE THE BUBBLE BATH! Positive affirmations, personal development.
Physical self care:
Doing things that fuel your body and nourish your body. Caring for your physical needs.
Ex: Exercise, drink water, rest, enjoy healthy meals and snack, go for a walk, stretch, dance, get enough sleep.
Doing things that help declutter your mind and decrease your stress as well as activities that stimulate your mind.
Ex: Take breaks, listen to uplifting podcasts, read a book, listen to music, take a guilt-free naps, pray, meditate. Here’s as BIG ONE: practice saying “no” (healthy boundaries)
Spiritual self Care:
Engaging in activities that nurtures your spirit and that connects you to a Higher Power (whatever that means to you)
Ex: Prayer, meditation, self-refection, going to a place of worship
Practical self care:
Engaging in tasks that help to decrease future stressful situations.
EX: Creating a budget, cleaning out and organizing your pantry, professional development courses.
Social Self Care:
Engaging in activities that nurtures the relationship that you have in your life.
Ex: Call a friend, go out for coffee with a friend, wine night with the girls 😉
(I understand that this has been a tough one for all of us the last year and a half)
For some of us, when we hear the word ‘self’ attached to anything else, we think “selfish.” But this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s not just a bubble bath and trip to the salon- although, those are nice treats when you’re able to do them. It’s definitely a form of personal self care and there is most certainly no need to feel guilty about doing them.
The purpose of self-care is to build a connection within ourselves that will keeps us balanced and healthy and in turn, better equipped to support and connect with our loves ones, our co-workers, and our friends and the world around us.
I’m challenging myself to practice a different category of self-care daily for the next 21 days. I’m going to take it a step further and post it on social media to keep myself accountable. (I’m nervous committing to this one because of my tendency to shift gears and drift off once committing. But I’m firm in believing, I’ve got something here that is bigger than myself sooooooo I’m sticking to it!!) follow me on Facebook and Instagram to track my journey if you’d like 🙂
I invite you to come alongside and do this with me. For some of you, this is nothing new and you’re totally rocking the self care areas of your life. In that case, I invite you to do this with me anyway! Let’s flood our social media with self care inspiration to give those who are struggling the boost that they might need. Let’s bring awareness of what self care really is.
Step 1. Practice at least one form of self-care daily.
Step 2. If you so choose, post on IG or FB which activity you engaged in and how it made you feel.
Step 3. Add #wakupriseupconquer #selfcarechallenge to your post.