Self Care – you have time for it and you can afford itBy Nannette S. Funderburk, Ph.D., LPCS / March 18, 2021
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Hopefully, the title bluntly speaks to the common objections I hear as related to caring for yourself. And in case you were wondering, yes, we do engage in self-care. It is not an act reserved only for others.
So how do we do this? First, let’s do a check-in. How do you answer the simple question, “Hey, how are you?” Many of us say some version of “I’m fine” or “I’m good.” In a pinch, we may say something like “I’m just doing what I’ve got to do.” We answer in these ways even when we are really feeling worried, exhausted, stressed or broken. If this is you, you might need self-care. Other indications? You might need self-care if…
- You are more regularly taking something to sleep or something to wake up (or both).
- You are having random aches and pains that cannot seem to be diagnosed by your physician.
- You are angry or sad, seemingly, for no reason.
- Your drug of choice can be found at the local coffee shop or bakery (i.e., caffeine and sugar).
- You more regularly have thoughts of “Nothing is going to work, so why try.”
These are just a few, but if these sound like messages you have heard from others or possibly had in your own mind, I invite you to continue reading.
Let’s rethink self-care. Realistic self-care does not cost a lot of money, does not take a lot of time, and does not diminish the care you give to others. Also, it is not selfish or shirking responsibility. Finally, let me say it is not about finding the magic wand fix to all of your issues. Self-care happens one day at a time, and if you don’t have that much time take one minute at a time. Self-care is about being honest with yourself about what you can or cannot handle. Self-care is about choosing to focus on only the things you have control over. Focusing on anything else will frustrate, anger, or sadden you. Self-care is unique to you. What works for someone else may not feel like self-care to you.
Because of these things, I have started a list of realistic self-care tips for you below.
- Realistic self-care tip #1
If you only have five minutes, eat a small lunch, take a walk, or use the bathroom.
- Realistic self-care tip #2
If you have less than five minutes, take that time to take a few deep breaths. Often when we are rushed or stressed we hold our breath, or take short shallow breaths.
- Realistic self-care tip #3
Do something to clear your mind. Meditate, pray, stare off into space, look out of a window or spend time in nature. Choose something that will momentarily get you off of your to do list.
- Realistic self-care tip #4
Find a safe way to express yourself. Talk to a trusted friend, journal, or draw. Social media is not recommended for this.
- Realistic self-care tip #5
Move your body. A few minutes of changing your physical position will gently loosen stiff muscles and refresh your mindset. Also, working out as you are able can do wonders.
- Realistic self-care tip #6
Remember to stay connected, reconnect, or make new connections with people. Ask for help from family or friends, use your employee assistance program (EAP), or write to family members, friends and acquaintances.
This list is simply a start, but hopefully you can see how self-care can be affordable, timely and for us.
The S.E.L. Group, The Social and Emotional Learning Group, is located at 3300 Battleground Ave. Suite 202, Greensboro. Phone 336-285-7173.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit: www.theselgroup.com.
Realistic self-help can include: Meditation, prayer, staring off into space, looking out of a window or spending time in nature. Choose something that will momentarily make a to-do list fade from the brain.