When you think of self care, do you tend to think of the basics? Eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising? If so, you’re absolutely right; these are some essential tools for health.
But self care can and should go even further.
For many of us, taking care of ourselves in a deliberate way that goes beyond our basic human needs can feel self indulgent, or even selfish. It’s (unfortunately) very normal to feel this way. But if we look closer we find there is more to self care than this. When we engage in self care, we nurture our minds and bodies in a way that allows us to be happy, resilient, and present in our lives. These qualities benefit not only ourselves, but the people around us as well.
So what does self care look like?
Self care activities are probably the ones you naturally turn to for comfort after a hard day. They might also include the ways in which you celebrate yourself after receiving some positive feedback or good news. Other times, self care might look like cleaning your apartment while listening to your favorite album or drinking coffee and watching Bob’s Burgers. Self care activities are the ones that make you feel calm, organized, happy, energized, relieved, inspired, and loved. Different people experience these emotions through different activities, so self care varies from person to person.
You might find that there are certain activities you can count on daily to help boost your spirits and center your mind. This is great! In addition to these gems, it is a good idea to also have a long list of self care options to continue exploring. As we change and grow (which we do constantly) our needs shift too. It helps if we are prepared for these changes with a toolbox of diverse self care ideas to use in a variety of situations. In my work as a therapist, I have found that client explorations around self care tend to be meaningful, fun, and often very creative.
The purpose of this blog, and the Self Care Solitaire playing card decks I am developing, is to help people expand their self care toolkits to include more activities that enrich and balance their lives. In addition to the concrete ideas for activities I will provide, it is also my goal to encourage others to begin regarding themselves with an attitude of radical self acceptance and love. With this new mindset, we will naturally gravitate toward activities that are healthy and positive.
What does your current self care routine look like? Feel free to comment about what is working for you! Or are there certain aspects about self care that you struggle with? I would love to hear from you.
Keep checking back for self care suggestions, examples, products, and music. Each month will bring with it a new theme, and I’ll be adding new posts every week to explore a different element of self care relating to that theme. I will also provide updates on the Self Care Solitaire playing card decks as they become available.