Self care can be defined as, personal care provided for you and by you. Simply put, it’s the ability to identify your own needs and take steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. To some it may seem selfish to put yourself first, but it is necessary for your physical, mental and emotional well being. On an airplane, an oxygen mask drops in front of you. What do you do? The first rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. When you first help yourself, you can effectively help others. Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It is also one of the easiest things to forget. But you benefit greatly from self care and so do others in your life.
Why is self care so important for women? Women spend much of their lives nurturing and caring for others. When we find ourselves focusing more on others than ourselves, we become stressed out, burned out and run down. For those who spend time helping and caring for others, it is very easy to neglect your own needs. It’s like “running on empty” when you don’t take the time to re-fuel. We spend so much time and effort caring for our partners, children, pets, friends, family members, employers and employees. Let’s not forget all of the additional volunteer activities, errands, housework, family functions, meetings, etc.—and there isn’t much time left for caring for ourselves. Women need to balance the stress and activity of daily life with activities that bring a sense of peace and well being to their minds and bodies. For women who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves often become angry, frustrated, have low self-esteem and feel resentment. Self care means treating yourself as a worthwhile person and showing that you are valuable, competent and deserving.
Remember, practicing self care does not have to cost much. In fact, there are many things that you can do that are free or affordable. Here are a few examples of self care activities?
Get enough sleep.
Take a yoga class.
Read a good book.
Learn to Meditate.
Eat a well balanced diet.
Talk openly with a trusted friend.
Find a support group of similar interests.
Plant a garden or buy a couple of house plants.
Journaling – write about your daily experiences.
Spend time in nature – sit outside and listen to the birds.
Put on your headphones and listen to your favorite music.
Take a warm bubble bath, include candles & relaxing music.
Practice breathing exercises (the library has books to help you with this).
Buy yourself a little something—a flower, a candle to enjoy during your bath.
Take a “power nap” it can be as short as 30 minutes to refresh & recharge you.
Go to the park, watch the children play & listen to them laugh as they swing & play.
Make exercise a regular part of your routing (a 20 minute walk 3 times a week will do).
Soap your feet in Epsom salt, it’s very soothing and relaxing for tight and tense muscles and for the mind.
Make room in your schedule for attending a class to learn something new (pottery, a language, scrapbooking etc.)
The goal is to feel vital and balanced, free from depression and anxiety. By taking good care of you, means the people in your life will receive the best of you and not the rest of you.