As I was researching for this blog post, I found many resources about the benefits of self-care. These include better emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health as well as a myriad of other benefits. But one particular resource that jumped out at me took a different approach in the conversations about self care.
In her article, 7 Damaging Myths About Self-Care, Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. points out that self-care isn’t meant to be optional nor should it have to be earned. That makes a lot of sense to me but that hasn’t always been the case.
I remember when I thought about self-care and told myself that I just didn’t have the time for it. I had too much to do and too many other people to help to be concerned about self care.
Then when I found myself on the crispy edges of burnout, I realized that I needed to make taking care of myself a priority. But I wasn’t really sure what self-care looked like and was determined to find out. After all, I knew something had to give!
I began to look at trips I could take and other “things” I needed to purchase in order to practice self-care. However as Tartakovsky points out, self-care doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Thankfully, I learned that lesson as well. Self-care didn’t mean that I had to go to the ocean to relax. Instead, I could listen to ocean sounds on YouTube and relax as well.
Now, I practice self-care in the little things everyday of my life. I have quiet time, listen to relaxing music, eat healthy, exercise, draw boundaries, and otherwise take care of myself.
As a result, I’ve never felt better! Now I can’t imagine my life without self care. Incidentally, if someone had said that to me 10 years ago I would have laughed at them.
But I’m older and wiser and realize that I truly have to fill my cup first and make sure that it doesn’t get emptied out.
So what does self care look like in your life? What’s one thing you can do today that you didn’t do yesterday to practice self-care?