The term self-care was introduced to me when I was a freshman in high school. In a six-month period, I had strep throat, bronchitis, numerous colds, and mono which I assumed was caused by my change in environment. One of the last times I was sick that year, my pediatrician asked if I had ever tried taking care of myself holistically. I said something about demanding course loads and extracurriculars not leaving enough time for rest. She said, “Honey, life only gets harder! You need to learn self-care.”
Some people, like my 15-year-old self, think that self-care is putting on a face mask and blasting music at the end of a long day. When really, self-care is each person examining their health and making decisions to preserve or improve their wellbeing. It’s about taking care of your mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual self. Self-care is all about what works best for the individual. The only requirement is simply doing it!
I have put together a list of 5 practices to preserve/improve each part of your wellbeing.
Mental self-care tip: Give yourself the gift of self-compassion, self-acceptance, a positive inner voice and recognizing your success and learning from your failures.
Physical self-care tip: Consume a healthy diet that fuels your body.
Emotional self-care tip: Practice deep breathing exercises whenever you feel stressed or find other coping skills that relieve emotional build up.
Social self-care tip: Maintain social interaction but allow yourself the grace to say no when you aren’t up for social gatherings.
Spiritual self-care tip: Incorporate practices like yoga, prayer or meditation to connect your mind and body.
Use the above ideas as a springboard, then take a few moments to consider how you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine.
Every day is a learning opportunity!