Developing the Art of Self-Care
There are a whole host of excellent self-care activities.
Yoga. Deep Breathing. Going for walks. Grounding.
We know them and so many times, we forget to use them, until it is too late. How can we be more intentional with using self-care, picking ourselves up off of the ground, dusting ourselves off, caring for ourselves, and moving forward?
Make a Promise to Yourself
One thing that has been incredibly helpful for me is making a promise to myself that I am going to do it. I know, I know, promises, promises… right? However, think about it this way… making a promise to yourself is one of the most important ones you can make. Oftentimes, the promises we make to ourselves are the first to go because something more important or pressing comes up.
What would it be like to extend the care and importance we give to everyone else to ourselves? Think about that for a minute.
You’re worth it.
You’re health and mental health are worth it.
Taking care of yourself is also loving those around you well because you’re more patient, understanding, generous, kind, and the list goes on!
I get it. It sounds counterintuitive but I’m serious. Today I made a promise to myself that I was going to write this blog. I had a host of different things come up but in practicing this for myself, I set myself up for success to follow through with this because promises to myself are the most important ones. I needed to show up for myself, to show myself that I am worth taking the time to think, journal, process, and produce. The thing is, when I follow through on my promises for self-care, it comes through in moments like this one as well.
Self-care is more than stopping to breathe or writing in a journal (trust me, theses are excellent things). It’s also about communicating to yourself that in the midst of chaos and busyness, self-care is a way to care for yourself because you deserve the love and kindness you extend so readily to others.
So. Let’s talk about developing the art of self-care. Here are some helpful tools to get you started.
1) Plan it.
That’s right. It may not be the most enticing but putting it on the schedule and “making an appointment with yourself” makes following through much easier. Stick to that promise and commitment you made to yourself and show up for that appointment.
2) Have a friend hold you accountable.
The best thing about self-love is that it grows. Share the ideas with your friends and have them ask you what you are doing for self-care, how it is going, and how they can encourage you to continue.
3) Choose activities that interest you and that you enjoy.
You’re more likely to succeed and stick with it if it is enjoyable. Self-care is something that calms and relaxes you. It isn’t called self-annoyance or self-frustration or even self-judgment for a reason. Think about what things you have done in the past to decompress. Walks. Baths. Pouring out all the feels on the pages of a journal. Snuggling with pets. Watching the snow fall. You know yourself. Self-care for you may look different than your friends. It’s okay. Free yourself from comparison and choose things that bring you life.
4) Make a list.
Perhaps you’re like me… when you have the time you can’t think of a single thing to do but when your day is packed, all you can think about is all of the activities that would bring you peace and relaxation. Take a page from your own book and write them down. Keep a google doc or a note on your phone. Take the guesswork and pressure out of finding something to do for your self-care time. Read your list and see if anything stands out to you or resonates with you and start there.
You’re ready to begin!