Self Care

  • Self-care refers to intentionally engaging in practices and activities that reduce stress. Self-care can look really different for different people. To figure out what self-care means to you, think about what makes you feel good. Maybe it's taking a long shower with good smelling soaps. Maybe it's going for a run or having a solo dance party. Maybe it's calling up a good friend. What makes you feel cared for can change depending on how you're feeling. Pay attention to what makes you feel nourished, and try to make time to do one of those things every day.

    Self-Care Tips:

    1. Meditation. We've come a long way from mediation being considered hocus pocus. It has proven to change the structure and function of the brain, and it's a fabulous way to promote relaxation while reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
    2. Exercise/Yoga. Exercise not only gets you physically fit, but it's a natural way to help decrease depression and anxiety.
    3. Get some sleep. Easier said than done, but sleep deprivation is detrimental to a person's thinking, and their physical and emotional state. Try to have as regular a sleep schedule as possible, and you'll generally find that your "biological clock" will remember when to fall asleep and wake up.
    4. Play with a pet. If you are lucky and can have a pet, there may be few better ways to foster self-care. Cuddling with a pet, taking care of them, and feeling their unconditional love is something we rarely experience on such a consistent basis.
    5. Meet and communicate with friends. Research has found that meeting with peers and talking about what's going on with you-including past events you're still processing-prevents burnout and promotes well-being. It only takes a few special friends to make a big difference in your life.
    6. Appreciate nature. There is something to our relationship with the outdoors that makes us feel good, if we can allow ourselves a few minutes not to rush or be disturbed by our ringtones.
    7. Turn off smart phones (at least for part of the day). It's hard. But really, you don't need it on constantly, as if it's stitched to your side. You can take a break, even for just part of the day. Once you try it, you may actually find it refreshing to have a break from the constant notifications.
    8. Do something for someone else. Our brains are wired for giving. In fact, the chemicals released by the brain during the process of giving is far more rewarding than when we receive gifts.

    Be kind. Be patient. Be generous. Be accepting. Be all of these things to yourself. That is where it begins.