It has been a long time since I have taken the time to sit down and write a blog post. I think I do this more for myself sometimes because it is a moment to reflect on a topic that I have been exploring. This morning, my best friend sent me an article about self care (linked below). She and I have an awesome set up in which we help hold each other accountable, check in about our financial and professional goals, and just generally remind each other that we are worthy of love and connection. One thing we talk about frequently is self care and what that means for us individually.
So, what exactly is self care? Self care is, according to Google, “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” Culturally, we have been shown that self care is bubble baths, drinking wine, eating chocolate while laying in bed watching Netflix, and just generally indulging in whatever we want because #treatyoself.
I disagree with these sentiments and find that they can be misleading and actually counteractive to good health. What i want to teach myself, my kids, and especially my dear clients is that self care is prioritizing basic needs like getting enough rest, declining the second drink at the party, making a healthy choice over an indulgent one, and even choosing to remove yourself from an unhealthy relationship. Self care is about setting boundaries with yourself so that you can appropriately love and care for yourself while also being able to love and care for others at the same time.
Self care needs to be a priority EVERY SINGLE DAY! Self care is not an option but a discipline. It is not an indulgence but simply finding what is important and essential to our overall health. What are your self care goals? Mine include moving my body every day either through running or yoga or simply stretching after a long day of sessions. I choose to eat mindfully and healthfully (most of the time!), and try my hardest to have healthy boundaries with work. It is not always easy for sure but when I am prioritizing me, I often find that I can take care of others more thoughtfully and that it sustains my work as a counselor.