by Jayme Beal, 10/18/2019

Self-care is not selfish, in fact, it is vital. Self-care is not a treat, but an act of kindness towards us. Self-care is a priority and not a luxury. You may find yourself cringing while reading those phrases or may be feeling a sense of relief.
America has become so individualized and fast paced that we often times never stop.  We all have life demands and instead of taking control of our lives, we let life take control of us. We put ourselves last in a sense of spreading ourselves so thin, and then wonder why we are so exhausted. On the other hand, we may not view ourselves as deserving of good things resulting in a life that is unfulfilled and dull.

So what is self-care anyways? Self-care is intentional acts of taking care of our complete well-being. This means we nurture each aspect of our life, our spiritual, physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and professional. To understand your needs and allowing yourself to get those needs fulfilled, allows us to live happy and healthier lives. When we take better care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of others. Life can get extremely hard at times so when we truly take care of ourselves, we are much more able to manage these experiences.

Good news is there is a multitude of ways we can involve ourselves with self-care activities. It is important to understand these activities should be enjoyable and something that fills us up, leaving us restored. As life, changes our needs will change and our self-care will not always look the same.

“Self care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of  you.”  -Katie Reed


Questions to ask yourself when considering self care practices

When it comes to physical health, are you…
·       Getting enough sleep?
·       Eating and drinking healthy and regularly?
·       Participating in physical activities? (dancing, swimming, singing, sports, walking, or some other fun physical activity)
·       Spending time exercising?
·       Going to preventative medical appointments?

When it comes to social health, are you…
·       Spending face-to-face time with people you like?
·       Nurturing relationships with friends and family?
·       Asking for help when you need it?
·       Allowing others to do things for you?

When it comes to mental/emotional health are you…
·       Participating in hobbies often?
·       Spending time away from your phone, email, social media, etc.
·       Going on vacation or day trips throughout the year?
·       Saying no to additional activities?
·       Doing something comforting (watching a favorite movie, taking a long bath, etc.)
·       Expressing thoughts and feelings in healthy ways? (counseling, talking, creating art, journaling, etc.)
·       Spending time laughing?
·       Noticing your thoughts and feelings? How often are they positive?

When it comes to Spiritual Health, are you…
·       Making time to reflect on your day, week, year, and life?
·       Spending time outside and in nature?
·       Recognizing things that give meaning to your life?
·       Living in accordance to your morals, values, and beliefs?
·       Contributing to causes you believe in or inspired by?

When it comes to professional health, are you…
·       Creating a positive workspace that is comfortable?
·       Learning new things in your field?
·       Advocate for your work whether its benefits, fair pay, or other need?
·       Taking breaks.
·       Balancing your personal life and professional?
·       Managing your time effectively get work done each day?