Self-care is care provided “for you, by you.” It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others. Self-care is so important, but we seem to put it on the bottom of our priority list. We need to put it on the top of our priority list.
Why take care of yourself first?
You can’t give what you don’t have. Everyone benefits from your self-care. When you feel good emotionally, physically and spiritually, you can be there for others. If not, you run on empty and become stressed out, overwhelmed and can burn out.
Mood and emotions are contagious. If you're unhappy, it affects others. What do you want to spread to your kids? We teach through actions.
Women who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves often become unhappy, have low self-esteem and feel resentment.
Remember self-care doesn’t equal selfish
11 ways to practice self-care:
1. Are your basic needs met? This is a great place to start. We need a strong physical foundation. Make sure your diet is good, sleeping well, plenty of water and exercise.
2. How do you define happiness? What does it look like? Feel like? Write a list of the top 5-10 things that cultivate happiness for you. Does your life match your list?
3. Gratitude – spending time in gratitude helps us to re-train our brains to go from negative to positive. Ask yourself everyday: What are 2-3 things your grateful for today?
4. Step outside of your comfort zone – when we stay in our comfort zone, we don’t take risks, try new things and we can become stagnate. We need growth to be happy.
5. Flow – add in activities that cause flow. Flow create mindfulness and cultivate happiness.
6. Pay it forward – it’s a win-win. Every time you do an act of kindness, you get a boost of happiness and so does the person you did it for.
7. Unplug and do something for you! Take this time to re-fuel.
8. Learn to say “No”.
9. Ask for help!
10. Socialization – connect with others. Socialization is the # 1 factor of happiness.
This includes: Community, Fun/play and Support.
11. Journal write – this is a mindfulness exercise. Take 10 minutes a day to free write. Write without judgment.
Self-Care Questions to ask yourself:
1. What does self-care mean to me? How do I define self-care?
2. When I think of self-care what comes up for me both physically and emotionally?
3. How Burned out am I on a scale of 1-10? What do I feel is causing me to burn out? How long have I felt this way? Why haven’t I dealt with this earlier?
4. If I made self-care part of my daily/weekly routine how would my life change? How would I benefit? How would the people around me benefit?
5. What areas of my life are lacking? What areas of my life do I need to change?
6. What has worked for me in the past with tough situations to self-soothe me? Support system? What did I do as self-care? What strengths did I use?
7. What cultivates happiness for me? Is it part of my daily/weekly schedule?
8. When the was the last time you did a self-discovery evaluation? What is important to you? What are your top strengths? What weaknesses do you want to work on? What are your traits? Values? Passions/inspires you?
Self-Discovery is the road to self-care. You need to be self-aware to make changes.
9. What is in your emotional toolbox?
10. Who should I avoid? Who triggers me or stresses me?
11. What is one thing I can let go of or stop doing that isn't serving me? Bad habits, what you are eating/drinking? Who are the people you are spending time with?
12. In what areas of my life am I trading authenticity for safety/security or what appears to be safe but is really stopping my growth or keeping me stuck?
13. Do I set up personal boundaries? When I do how do I feel? When I do not how do I feel?
Example of boundaries: Can I say No and accepts when someone says no. Shares but does not over share, values your own opinion but can listen to others but won't change just so people like them or won’t be mad. Do I feel responsible for everyone and everything in my world? That needs a boundary. Is my self-acceptance dependent on others?
14. How do I feel when I am alone/spending time with myself? Do you set some time aside just for you?
For more information please visit Diane’s website: https://dianelang.org/ or email Diane@dianelang.org.