According to what I see on my Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, self-care is kind of the new buzz word, but what does it entail? It is about taking proper care of yourself, for you, by you, because you have individual needs that only you can address best. Self care, as the word implies, is care of yourself. What makes you happy and recharges your batteries? That’s self care. And once you have figured out what recharges your batteries, coming up with the plan on how to do so.
One of the most important points of self-care is that it works for you, in accordance with your values. Value, in this case, is a way of defining what matters to you. Your personal values will vary a lot from person to person, even within the same group of people who generally share the same philosophies. For example, I value creativity, therefore, a creative outlet is very important to me and my self-care.
So, for self-care to be effective, you must figure out your personal values. Do you value spending time with family? Do you value spending time outdoors? If you’re not sure, it’s okay to try what other people are doing and see if it works for you. For example, I tried drawing, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. I don’t draw and I don’t get pleasure from drawing, so while it may be a really good outlet for others, it certainly wasn’t for me. But I tried, and I am happy I did, because now I know it doesn’t cut it for me. On the same vein, I did realize that coloring is indeed anxiety-reducing for me, so it is in my self-care arsenal.
Sometimes, however, self-care can be as simple as taking a nice, long, warm shower, or drinking a cup of tea slowly, mindfully, even.
It is important to add a self-care item or two to our daily routines, and it is also important to schedule time for more involved self-care. For example, to add an item of self-care to our daily routine, we can try to drink our morning coffee mindfully, every day. Another way to add something to the daily routine would be to spend 5 minutes in prayer and/or meditation prior to going to sleep. (It seems the best times for me to add some self-care to the routine is either first thing in the day, or last order of business). I also like to schedule time on the weekends to do some coloring, journaling, or something crafty.