As mental health professionals, we frequently talk with our clients about self-care while also seeking to practice it ourselves. The term “self-care” can provoke lots of feelings in us when we hear it—it can feel ambiguous, unclear, overwhelming, even leading to feelings of anxiety. This can happen especially when we are unsure what it actually is or what it means to us individually or just how to go about practicing self-care. The amazing thing is (and it took me a while to truly realize this) that self-care is exactly whatever we need it to be. It is a little different for everyone—it is about what relaxes YOU, about what energizes YOU, what gives YOU hope, what makes YOU laugh, what helps YOU clear you head, what refocuses YOU, what helps YOU unplug, what calms YOU, what gives YOU confidence. While the list below is in no way exhaustive, it is just a few examples to get you started on your self-care journey.
- Put on some tunes—a song that pumps you up, gives you that feeling of joy and just FUN!
- Take a shower—sometimes getting clean and putting on fresh clothes can help us start over.
- Watch something that makes you laugh!
- Write down your thoughts. Sometimes just the act of organizing them and seeing them written down can give you a sense of calm and help all those thoughts and emotions floating around feel less abstract.
- Finish a project in your house that has been bothering you so it can be crossed off that “to do” list.
- Take a nap
- Play some board games with your friends and family.
- May a list of things for which you are grateful.
- Pick something you enjoy and actually go do it! No excuses to yourself!
- UNPLUG! Turn on your phone, your tablet, your computer—do something that doesn’t require “logging in.”
- Consider spending more time with your pets or perhaps getting a pet—animals are a great source of healing and companionship.
- Post some inspirational quotes where you will see them regularly—they can be gentle reminders of things that matter to you as well as sources of encouragement and hope.
or even go hang out in a hammock! 🙂