What do you think about when I say self-care? To me, self-care is doing something selfish to nurture yourself so you are more able to deal with the stressors of life/people in a healthy way. And guess what? I fully believe that we all need to be selfish. We really need to spend time taking care of ourselves even when we feel like we shouldn’t.
What ways do you take care of yourself? I have found this differs for many people but in the end it comes down to what makes us feel good which could be getting a haircut, spending time shopping, taking a long bath or even just reading a book. I was told today by a fellow clinician that I have the best self-care they have ever seen, I found it very interesting and it made me think.
Why is mine any different than others and really what is it? So I started thinking about my day. Starting with my work because in my field it is very easy to forget about yourself and work very long hours because the need is so great. I have learned that I am not a good clinician if I work to many hours in a week. I find that I don’t think as clear and I am not present for my clients. So I limit the amount of hours I work (usually around 37-40) and I only have one long day during the week as well as being done working with clients by 1pm on Friday’s (I kind of feel sorry for my last client on Friday because sometimes I’m so tired by that point that I feel like they don’t get all my attention.) I structure my day with the same routine during the week which is breakfast, devotional and daily gratitude list making me list at least 3 things I’m grateful for each day without repeating anything during the week (give it a try because it really makes you look at all the small things and be grateful). Even when I’m not training for a marathon, I try to spend at least 5-6 days at the gym or doing some type of physical exercise a week because I really am a better person to be around if I’m doing this. I have learned to take the positive approach to things even when the most negative things happen. (This may not seem like self-care but if a negative thought is taking over your mind than you tend to stress and beat yourself up about things that are out of your control) And finally I have found that adding a massage to my life once a month not only helps the stress release but the sore muscles from all that running and cross training.
Now that I spell it all out, I do have pretty good self-care. Also, I’m pretty selfish. But you know what, I don’t hear any complaints from my family, friends and coworkers/clients. I really believe being selfish is a good thing. Are you selfish? Why not? I will allow you to label it “Self-Care”! 🙂