Many of us know what it feels like when we ignore our well-being. Our body or mind eventually forces us to shut down. Have you been skipping the water intake to get through a workout and you get injured? Or have you been working overtime without the rest your body needs and you lash out at someone close to you.? When you are not taking diligent care of yourselves, you do not feel your best or interact with others at your finest. A little self-care can go a long way toward helping you lead happier, healthier lives.
When you are spreading ourselves too thin and are constantly overscheduled, making time for self-care is half the battle. But even when you do carve out time to exercise, meditate, or eat healthier, you often still end up judging yourselves or are so distracted by other items on your to-do lists that you are not getting the most out of your self-care routine. Rather than view self-care as an internet craze or something only reserved for Sundays, you can look at this practice as part of your ongoing mental health self-care.
If you are ready to take your wellness practice to the next level, try designing a self-care plan that is unique to you, it acts as a roadmap that you can carry in your back pocket. It is there to help you walk your talk as well as help you find your way back to stability. By designing a roadmap in moments when you are NOT in crisis, you are directing your best self to reflect on what you may need in your worst moments. The reality is that only YOU know how intense your stress levels can get and what resources are available to you. When you have a plan in place, you will feel more in command of your conditions and life will not feel quite as frenzied. It also makes it easier to ask for help from those you share your plan with. You can check in with each other, hold each other accountable, and share the responsibility to support one another. These self-care options can range from scheduling a mid-day walk, to reading a book, to taking a short drive. Having this list prepared is important because when you are on the verge of burnout, you may not have the capability to come up with the options at that moment.
We all have daily routines and personal challenges. But let us stop trying to go it alone. When we take the time to create space in our schedules for others; when we organize and meet up with our friends and social groups; even when we exchange thoughtful emails, we are building communities of support and, therefore, fueling the self-care revolution.
Rather than be reactive, the modern self-care movement needs to take off as a routine to avoid burnout. The movement must demand that individuals put their health and wellness first without feeling guilty for doing so. Being able to identify the need for a personal moment is vital. However, the reality is most of us are good at this part of the equation. Where we tend to fall short is acting on our own recognition. It is not enough just to notice that low fuel light inside your head. You must do what it is telling you—pull over, put it in park, and refuel. This is not always easy and, in fact, often requires a good bit of personal courage. Try taking time to experiment with different forms of self-care until you find the ones that work best for you!
Happy New Year 2023 and Happy New You!