“Put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.” — Airline safety announcement
Self care is not about being selfish, but ensuring we have plentiful reserves. So this is not a license to spoil or over-pamper or vacation every month. It is a quite necessary activity to fully recharge rather than fritz out completely. Caring for ourselves is not egotistic or vain. It only means ensuring that our needs are met.
It’s important because our reserves are finite, similar to a battery. Our energy is used up in our daily lives in dealing with work, children, dependents, commitments, house, possessions. If we don’t fully recharge there’s not enough energy to do it properly. Too soon, the battery needs to replaced.
The first step is to make it a priority. If it’s not a priority, it won’t stick. It’s difficult to make time in a busy life, but if self care is a high enough priority, it’ll be easier to drop something less important to make the time. Once we have the time here are six ways to take better self care.
- Be nourished. Poor nutrition deprives us of energy we could be getting from healthier food. Water makes all the body’s functions work better. Exercise strengthens the heart and bones, heals the blood and limbers the joints. Duration, type and intensity are individual.
- Be rested. We need long and uninterrupted and deep enough sleep that we are refreshed each day.
- Be loved and appreciated. We all need good connections and healthy relationships from which we can draw strength.
- Don’t be stressed. Stress damages health and appearance. It shortens lifespan and decreases life quality. Getting spirituality on track is part of this too.
- Receive value. We need to have something that makes us glad. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but spending time enjoying our passions revives.
- Give back. Ironically, giving back can refresh the spirit. Too much can be taxing so we all need to find the right balance.
If there is a gap in any of these areas, it’s time to take some care of yourself. I’ve spent two nights this week at the beach, just sitting and listening to the surf, letting my mind wander and my body relax. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Need inspiration? Please comment below with your specific example.