Self-care has somehow become synonymous with selfish. We feel instantly bad when we take time to ourselves or over explain so as not to offend those in our lives when we need some “me” time. When did this become the case? Why is self-care such a bad thing?

The term self-care was originally used by the medical community in the 1950s but gained popularity thanks to the Black Panthers and other activists of the 1960s and 70s Civil Rights movement as they wanted to take care of the mental health of their communities. Some were even using mindfulness techniques and yoga among other practices.

We now have a definition to describe it as “taking care of yourself and doing what’s holistically healthiest for you.” This can mean a variety of things and the self-care/wellness industry has capitalized on that.

I however see it as more than a trend and instead as a lifestyle change that we could all use. Self-care relieves stress, prevents burnout, and allows us to create a healthier, happier life. When we take time to fill our own cup, we can then help others. However, if we are filled with anxiety, stress, overwhelm, or panic, it’s harder for us to support others when they need us.

So, how do we self-care?

Joy Menu

This is my favorite! Make a list of all the things that bring you joy that you can do during your “me” time such as: take a bath, shopping, yoga, meditation, mani/pedi, read a book, glass of wine, taking a walk, exercise, anything that promotes your wellbeing. Next, schedule time for this in your calendar/planner. Do NOT skip this step! If we plan out our work and to-do list, we can plan our self-care.

Boundaries

Set realistic boundaries! Everyone has their own daily capacity. What’s yours? Communicate your work and non-work hours and hold others accountable. If they continue to ignore your boundaries communicate again. This goes for friends/family as well as co-workers. Set boundaries with yourself as well like shutting your phone off at a certain time, limit social media, create a bedtime routine. When you protect your energy and who has access to you and the amount of time, you will notice when you are recharged and when you are depleted. This is self-care! It is what is healthiest for you.

Time Management

Do you time block? This principle goes back to scheduling. Schedule your priorities, the tasks that must be done each day and set a timer so you won’t be distracted and only focus on that task for the allotted amount of time. Then you can take a break once the timer goes off. This helps with distractions, being pulled in too many directions, and saves your energy.

Create a morning routine

Taking valuable time for ourselves in the morning sets up the tone for our whole day. Giving yourself a few minutes to feel centered or reflect fills your cup first. My morning routine consists of meditation, reading affirmations, my goals, and my self care action for the day. I then pull a card from Gabby Bernstein’s “Universe has your Back” card deck. This all takes between 20-30 minutes depending on my day. But doing this gives me the quiet time before I head out and give my energy to everyone else.

As you can see, self-care goes beyond what we usually think it is. It all comes back to protecting your energy, caring for yourself and making YOU a priority first! None of that is selfish, it is how you will thrive. And once you practice this, others will know it’s okay to practice as well and then the ripple effect continues.

Wellness Wednesday

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As a writer, speaker, educator and coach my goal is to help guide people on their own journey to making a wellness lifestyle work for them.

My holistic approach teaches that it’s not just about the nutrition we put into our bodies or our fitness routine, we also need to take care of our own well-being as well.In order to truly live a healthier life we need to realize this is a shift and change in our whole lifestyle and we must cultivate this lifestyle every day.

I’m a certified health coach with a Master’s degree in Health Promotion with a concentration in Community Education. 

This degree prepared me to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). All of this knowledge is helping me create health education programs for children and adults alike.

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