Self-Care In A Busy World

Self-care. Such a loaded word/topic. What does it actually mean? Does it change/ How do you do it “right” or well? Is self-care something you do or is it a state of being?

I started asking myself these questions as I’m in transition out of grad. school into the “real world.” Not having the support of a cohort or the routine of school, this has been a season of re-defining and re-discovering what self-care looks like and let me tell you… I have not figured it out yet.

It’s safe to say that in our society, this word or concept has been warped in such a way that people assume it solely means getting a massage, doing face masks, or something else to pamper the self. Yes, those all can be forms of self-care (I’m all about #treatyo’self). But, those are not the only types of self-care we need to consider. We humans are complex beings which means we also have a variety of needs. Think about how you take care of yourself physically. You might shower every day (or every other day.. or every every other day) and make sure you look decently groomed before you head out to work or school. Physical self-care feels much more tangible, at least for me because it’s easier to keep track of it. I know the last time I scheduled a massage or notice how antsy I feel if I haven’t gone for a run or been outside to get fresh air.

But what about emotional, mental, spiritual, maybe even relational/social self-care? Are your current self-care routines meeting these needs as well?

Now, before I go much further, we need to talk about self-care vs. selfishness.

THEY.

ARE.

NOT.

THE.

SAME.

Practicing self-care does not mean you are selfish. I would actually argue that by not acknowledging and tending to your needs, you are revealing to yourself and others that you don’t need to be taken care of. And for those of us who are believers, we’re going a step further and saying to God that we are self-sufficient and can handle things on our own, which is a whole slew of other issues. Pride and selfishness go hand in hand, right? We are designed to be relational and if you think you can do it without the support of other people, you may end up jeopardizing the care and support you are trying to give to others, and feel terrible yourself because you’ve been running on empty for so long.

Up until now, being in my late 20s (wow), I thought that by filling my schedule with meetings and coffee dates and social outings would be “self-care” items. And don’t get me wrong, some of them are! But when I’m constantly filling my very limited weekend time with people and events and obligations, what is left over? I feel spent, come Sunday night, and knowing that I have a full day of clients and meetings, end up not feeling so great. Part of self-care for me then is learning how to create boundaries so I’m not constantly on the go, and make space simply for myself to not only rest, but also feel restored. This got me thinking of how we can maintain “healthy” lives while tending to those needs too.

So, now that we’ve talked about all that. What is it actually?

Anything can be self-care. *insert shocked pikachu face here

WHAT?! That’s baloney.

Self-care starts when you begin listening to your mind, body, and spirit. And no, this isn’t meant to be wonky of “new-age-y.” I’m saying, in such a fast-paced world, we never slow down enough to assess how we are doing inwardly– physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. Perhaps this is why we struggle so much with understanding what self-care actually looks and feels like to us. It’s anything that rejuvenates or restores a part of you rather than drains you. People, places, things that bring you nourishment and life!

I’d encourage you after reading this (and if you’ve made it this far, then yay!), take one minute (set a timer on your phone!) and simply sit in silence with your eyes closed. Focus on your breathing, noticing what it feels like to inhale and slowly exhale through your mouth. See if certain thoughts or emotions surface during this exercise, and then ask yourself how can you respond in such a way that helps meet those needs?

Maybe it’s less about what we’re actually doing and more about the mindset we are in. What would it look like to have kindness and compassion towards ourselves instead of grudgingly pushing through the mud and feeling unsettled as we do it?

How do you self-care or take care of yourself?

If this post resonated with you or you’d like help exploring and discovering what self-care could look like for you, please feel free to reach out to me! I would love to work alongside you to help you feel rejuvenated as you navigate this busy world. I can be reached at hannah@healingandrestoration.com or (206) 588-6216.

 

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Mill Creek Office
16300 Milll Creek Blvd Suite G-1 Mill Creek WA 98012
info@healingandrestorationcounseling.com
425-248-3990

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