Happy New Year! Hope you all started off the New Year great and if not, don’t worry, it’ll get better! I had just came from my vacation visiting my family and love ones in Florida for a week and it was amazing. But when I flew back home, things were hectic with so many things piling up on my plate. Nonetheless, I took a break from social media to get things in order and recuperate- which brings me to my topic about self care! Now is the time and so forth to practice self-care if you haven’t already done so. What does self –care mean? It’s self-explanatory but I kind of like how the dictionary defines the meaning which says, “Self-care is care of oneself that consist of any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” We are living in a time where society measure and rewards us by our success and achievements. A lot of us get caught up with the trend of being busy and working hard – neglecting the need to take the time to listen to our bodies when we’ve pushed it to its limit. Yes, it’s great to have success, but we must be mindful on how success is packaged when it’s delivered to us. In other words, success and/or your dream career doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have time for yourself, rarely see your family and love ones, you’re constantly overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted. Self-care is the efficacy for success and a balanced life.
It’s personally important for us to attend to our self-care not just for today or a month but as an ongoing basis to prevent burnouts and serious health related issues such as stress and panic attacks. When we are burned out whether it’s from work, school, supporting our family, etc., our body will not function properly and can affect us spiritually, mentally, and physically. Such issues in those departments can hinder our daily routine (socializing, exercise, sleep, eating etc. ) and interrupt our daily work performance overall; this can not only cause a toll in ourselves but also to the people that depends on us.
Self-care can also be viewed as an ethical obligation in our work life, especially in a professional helping field. For instance, if I’m a therapist (which I’m currently working on), I would be a primary example of self–care itself to my clients that are relying on me for mental support and help. So, if I’m not physically or mentally intact, chances are it’ll also show in my work performance which can cause my client to discontinue their service with me and would then ruin the therapeutic relationship. Generally speaking, what’s the point of going to a professional psychiatrist, doctor, or nurse for help when they can’t even help themselves? Researchers Jane Myers, Thomas Sweeney, and J. Melvin Witmer (2000) declared the concept of wellness as “A way of life oriented toward optimal health and well-being in which body, mind and spirit are integrated by the individual to live more fully within the human and natural community.” Their statement embodies the importance of personal wellness in both our personal and professional life. When we practice self-care daily, we can provide the best version of ourselves to our friends, family, colleagues, and employer that reflects excellency in all that we do.
Here are 15 simple things you can do to practice self-care:
- Check in Spiritually: I recommend doing this daily; pray without ceasing, meditate, do early mornings devotion.
- Begin with self-awareness and self-liberation: Checking your own stress level by listening to your body for such signs.
- Practice Mindfulness: Take time to be present in the moment and enjoy now.
- Declutter: Having spacious and organized room and work station can ease your mind.
- Breathe: Take a mental break to focus on your breathing as you slowly inhale and exhale for 5-10 minutes.
- Ask for help.
- Exercise for 15-30 minutes everyday.
- Go out and treat yourself: Whether it’s sweet chocolate once a week or getting a pedicure and manicure twice a week. Go to a spa, go out to the park, beach and enjoy nature.
- Do an act of kindness: Your coworker didn’t bring lunch today? Share. Go out and volunteer in your community. Donate to a meaningful charity. Hug someone. Give someone a compliment.
- Dance: Turn the music up and dance! And be silly with it (I usually do this when I’m off).
- Make leisure time: Spend quality time with your friends and family.
- Go to a retreat.
- Save and spend money wisely.
- Do You! Remember, you matter, too. You can’t help others if you’re at the bottom. Make sure you take the time to take care of yourself first so that you may be able be well equip to do the work that God has called you to do!
Dahana St Jean