Self-Care: How Can I Make Me Feel Better Today?
Do you remember the popular TV show "Royal Pains"? They had a catchy slogan, "How can we make you feel better today?" I love this slogan. It's catchy. It's others centered and has an incredibly positive and uplifting message. What if we take this same concept and apply it to our lives? What if we take this awe inspiring mantra and apply it to how we take care of ourselves. Instead of, or maybe in addition to being others centered, we implement a mindset of taking care of ourselves on a regular basis with the idea of, "How can I make me feel better today?"
So, what does that look like? Well, let's start with defining what you think about when you think of self-care, and more specifically your personal self-care routine? What does that look like to you? Do you even have a self-care plan in place?
I recently held a self-care party and when I posed the question of defining self-care and if everyone had a plan in place, some admitted they did not. They were there because they wanted one. We all need one. It could be that it doesn't come easy for us, we don't think about scheduling time for ourselves, or we don't know where to begin.
If you don't have a self-care plan in place, I encourage you to create one today. Take out your notebook or purchase a journal. Start by defining what self-care means for you. In addition, it's important to consider:
Why is having a self-care plan in place important to you?
What is one thing you are lacking in your self-care?
Why do you need it?
For me, as a mental health coach, holistic is one word I would use to define my self-care. Holistic for me encompasses so much, including my spiritual, mental, physical, and social well-being. My holistic self-care includes balancing my life to prevent stress, anxiety, and burn out. My self-care comprises of having a morning and evening routine, walking my Giant Schnauzer, Mini, twice a day, spending quality time with my husband, my family, as well as being intentional having girl time. It definitely means spending time with God, through His Word, prayer, and waking up to KLOVE. It encompasses the things I enjoy, such as reading, watching sunsets, baking, beach time, and dancing to Miracles by Colton Dixon.
I am a planner and it's uncomfortable for me to derail from my plans, but I also find in those moments that taking those steps can be a part of my self-care by including others in that moment. I especially love when my husband and I do something spontaneous. I know, it seems paradoxical. What does that have to do with self-care? I've discovered that it's in those unplanned moments when I am doing something new or last minute that draws my relationship with my husband even closer. We walk, we go for scenic drives, watch sunsets together, laugh, and share. This is part of my self-care.
As crazy as it may seem, kissing my kids may not be written down anywhere as a duty or obligation or need to do this for my regular self-care, but even so, it encompasses that feeling of love that I need and they need and it makes us feel amazing. I have a dog. I do need to walk my dog. But, I love having her in my life and playing with her and petting her and spending time with her, as well. That feels good to me. It can also be therapeutic for me. It is a part of my self-care.
If you are asking where to begin, start with the questions I posed above. If you are wondering what else or how do I implement my self-care or even how do I bring it to the next level, try completing some of these sentences:
I take care of my body by ...
Healthy foods I enjoy eating are ...
I balance my world by ...
Boundaries I set for myself include ...
Things I enjoy doing by myself ...
I practice grace by ...
Obstacles that prevent me from taking care of myself include ...
These are just a few questions of many that would apply to taking care of our holistic well-being. Contained in our self-care routine should be how we practice relaxing our body and our mind. What does that look like in moments of stress and anxiety and how can we lessen or prevent some of those moments. For me, scheduling, anticipating, and preparing help me to lessen or even prevent stress and anxiety. When I have to do something where I need to calm down, I'll practice deep breathing exercises, in addition to using positive self-talk, such as "You got this!" is incredibly helpful. Dancing is a good de-stresser for me, and I will say ice cream and chocolate are high therapeutic remedies that make me feel better as well. Most importantly is prayer and my relationship with God.
How do you know when you are getting burned out?
What measures can you put in place to prevent stress, anxiety, or burnout?
Can you plan, prepare, and schedule to prevent emotional upset?
Choose today to implement a mindset that prioritizes taking care of yourself and ask
"How can I make me feel better today?"
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 2