As a lifelong multitasker, anxiety sufferer, and empath, I have the tendency to feel rundown before I even realize what is happening. How could I have gone from being the most productive to curling up on my sofa at the drop of a hat? Why am I so drained of energy? Very often, from the fetal position I have assumed in front of my television, I beat myself up, “I could have done better today…I could be better everyday…What is wrong with me?”
Especially in today’s world and its 24/7 news cycle, it is easy to feel like you are not enough– for your family, for your country, for the world. I feel the pressure to improve upon my communities and relationships– the important things– every day. But you can’t very well push yourself toward making your world a better place if you’re running on an empty tank.
In recent years, I have learned the importance of self-care as a regular practice and, when I can keep myself on track with doing little things for myself, I have found it makes a world of difference.
Self-care and maintenance looks different for every individual. I will give myself different rewards on different days, all of it dependent upon my schedule, the weather, you name it! If time allows (and it’s not super muggy out) I’ll unwind with a bath. I’ve also been known to turn on some music and dance around my apartment. Regular yoga, a nice home cooked meal, quality time with friends, watching a movie with my husband and cats, hanging out on my porch– these are all my go-tos, but it can be easy to let those things fall to the wayside when the rest of life gets loud.
Taking care of one’s self should not be a burden, expensive or stressful. Make time for you! I scoured the internet, polled friends and our own staff, to come up with a list of ways to practice self-care. Here’s what the people said:
- A massage if you have the funds
- A cup of tea
- A warm bath
- Playing with pets
- Meditation (There are plenty of meditation apps available for guidance.)
- Sensory deprivation tank
- Do something fun
- Take a walk
- Get outside!
- Practice yoga or exercise
- Unplug (turn off your cell phone)
- Clean/organize something in your office or home
- Take a nap
- Prep and prepare a meal
- Read a book
- Spend time with your family
- Keep a journal of affirmations and positive thoughts
Whether you spend a full day or even just five minutes devoting time to yourself, it can make all the difference in the world for your mental health.
What are some of your personal self-care practices? Feel free to share!
Be good to yourself,