If you are a Pinterest addict like I am, then you have probably seen the phrase “Self Care” floating around out there. I was intrigued, because the stress in this house lately has been through the roof. In fact, this next picture explains perfectly the way I feel in this exact moment.
The hubby has been studying for a big test in his career. I am juggling school work, studying for my Praxis II exam, arranging my in-class observations and student teaching. Then there’s the forever looming housework, raising a puppy, and lovingly parenting a five year old. Yeah, I’m about thiiis close to grabbing the clippers and getting a buzz cut. But, that’s life. And the older I get the more I realize that stress is constant. Like death and taxes. They should amend that quote.
“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death, taxes, and stress” – Benjamin Franklin feat. Heather Marie
Benjamin Franklin and I make a good team. So when I saw multiple articles about self care it peaked my interest and I dove in. Self care is, basically, the act of taking care of yourself. Duh, right. But the what isn’t as important as the why. Why should we practice self care? The answer is simple. We can’t be our best self if we are constantly taking care of others without fulfilling our own happiness. We are better people when we are balanced. We are more patient, more loving, more grounded. And in all of this balance we are able to be better to people to the ones that are the most important to us, the ones we love.
And if all of that touchy-feely stuff doesn’t do it for you then there is the science behind it. In my research, I found myself watching a TED talk by psychologist Guy Winch. Winch talks about psychological wounds that we suffer day to day and implores us to practice emotional first aid to help bring us balance. He states that just a two minute distraction is enough to break negative thought. Only two minutes! That is nothing. That is getting up and making a cup of tea. That is dancing to one song in your living room. Two minutes to break negative thought is doable for everyone. If you are interested in watching it, there is a whole playlist of the importance of self-care TED talks here.
There are five main areas of self care: physical (increasing water intake, getting more sleep), spiritual (prayer, meditation), lifestyle (relaxing, setting goals, organizing environment), mental/emotional (positive self-talk, journaling), people (reaching out to friends, family, working with a therapist). Anything that you can do for yourself to help you maintain your sanity can be categorized as self care.
My experience with self care has been craz-mazing. I have always handled stress poorly. My body takes it the hardest. My immune system suffers and I start getting ill. I get canker sores, cold/flu, I have even gotten kidney stones due to critical stress levels. And that’s not even considering the mental aspect. I get depressed, anxious, snappy, and overall am just not fun to be around. Since I have started practicing self care that has all changed. My moods are better, I am healthy, and I feel more emotionally sound then I have in years. By practicing self care, I am making myself a priority. As a mother and a wife that is difficult to do. I felt kind of guilty at first, but then I saw this quote:
“It feels as if we have to put ourselves after everyone else. [But] if you burn out, you will have nothing to give anyone else” – Roberto Olivardia, clinical psychologist, World of Psychology
That really spoke to me. If I am not at my full potential then how can I give my best to my family? So I decided that self care should be a priority. I actually schedule in at least one self care act a day. The scheduling part is important. If it’s scheduled, I feel like I have to do it and it’s more difficult to blow off. Sometimes its as simple as having a cup of tea, sometimes it’s as complex as making sure I facetime my mom. Not that facetiming my mom is exactly complex, she’s awesome, but it does take more concentration and planning then making a cup of tea.
So that’s the short of it (which I realize is pretty long). I’ll be writing another post soon to tell about some of the self care activities. Leave me a comment on something you do and I’ll be sure to add it to the list! And remember:
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