Let's talk about Self-care.
Self-care is something we often neglect because we're too busy, too tired, or perhaps we feel ashamed for needing time to ourselves. Sometimes self-care means having to say no and put ourselves first, this can lead to feelings of guilt and frustration. It can be difficult to subvert those thoughts.
We can be so engrossed in accomplishing our goals and taking that next step that we forget to actually live our lives.
Self-care is more about taking care of our emotional and spiritual well-being but it can include our physical health as well. It can look different for each person and can be anything you need it to be. The ultimate goal is to be a better you.
Perhaps it's sitting in front of the television with your favorite take out. Maybe it's reconnecting with your inner child and building blanket-forts and Legos. Perhaps it's singing your favorite songs and discovering a new creative outlet.
Find time to care for yourself, to indulge in the things that bring you joy. Take a few moments out of your day to be present and fully in the moment.
It also helps to reduce the negative influences in our lives. Pay attention to how different activities, shows, or even food make you feel. If there is something in your life that makes you feel frustrated or anxious or even depressed it might be time to re-evaluate why you're giving it space in your life.
Make yourself a mental health kit. Put together a box of your favorite things that make you feel comforted or secure when you're feeling down or having a tough day. Write letters or notes to yourself. Remind yourself that you deserve a time out and that you deserve to be fulfilled.
Self-care can be as simple as making sure your basic needs are met. For some people struggling with depression, self-care can become a challenge. A person who is currently in the thick of a depressive episode, everything can feel overwhelming and pointless. Instead of focusing on making yourself "feel better" take baby steps in your self-care. Take a hot bath, put on comfortable clothes, try to eat and stay hydrated. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to "snap out of it." A person with anxiety, for example, might choose to include fidget toys or meditation for their self-care
Self-care isn't about an immediate fix to just feel better in that moment. It's taking steps to ensure a happier healthier you in the long run. It's practicing loving yourself and ministering to your needs. Honoring your emotions and giving yourself a voice to be heard, because you deserve that.
Remember to say no when you're feeling overwhelmed. You are not obligated to be miserable for the benefit of someone else.You are not responsible for anyone's happiness, just as they are not responsible for yours.
We all have basic needs and complex needs when one of these gets ignored it's easy for that to start a "domino effect" of sorts and leak into other areas of our lives (the term "hangry", for example, comes to mind here).
Self-care isn't always do-it-yourself either. It can be confiding in a partner when we feel insecure or talking to a physician. It can be calling or texting a help line when you feel isolated or suicidal. Taking medication to calm your anxiety or allowing yourself to cry when you're feeling distraught.
There are a plethora of tools available for anyone unsure of where to start with what might be most beneficial to them. You do not have to do it alone. There is no shame in seeking help or advice. It's about you and what makes you happy.