When you hear the phrase “self care”, what comes to mind for you? Is it a demand of all the trends magazines and social media promote? Is it a “should” that feels hard to live up to? Is it a bubble bath with an expensive bath bomb that requires 2 hours of alone time that feels difficult to find in the chaos of life?
Self-care has always had health at the core, first being applied to our physical bodies, like showering, eating properly, and exercising. As human beings, we are more than physical bodies. We are also comprised of physical (body), psychological (mind), emotional (emotions) and needs. How do we care for those areas of self?
In our world of constant demand, it can be hard to “check off” our self-care box, where there is always a higher demand on the to-do list, or an additional email to answer. When we neglect self-care, we begin to revert to automatic (and perhaps less helpful) behaviors to soothe ourselves in difficult times. By engaging in self-care proactively, we can endure the challenges and stresses of life by decreasing the negative emotional states- like stress, anxiety, and tension- that have an impact on our overall being. Implementing rituals of self-care can help create patterns and lifestyle habits that can help us in difficult times.
So what are ways we can implement tiny rituals of self-care in our lives?
- Listening to our body and writing down the needs as we enter the day (like water, an extra hour of sleep, a hug)
- Taking a pause in the day to practice deep breathing
- Drinking enough water
- Making a gratitude list
- Identifying your emotions without judgment
- Creating a list of what makes you laugh
While these ideas may differ from person to person, these are beginning ways to help engage in self-care in every part of our self.
If you would like to explore the ways in which you can start making self-care a priority in your everyday life, please feel free to reach out to us here at The Refuge Center at 615-591-5262.
Written by Hannah Harriman, Master’s Level Counseling Intern at The Refuge Center.