Are You Taking Care of Yourself? 4 Steps to Self Care
This was a hard week for me. Here’s the thing, life is sometimes (for me, often) exhausting, and then on top of that, I’m regularly pushing myself out of my comfort zone. This means everyday life stressors, layered with brand new, difficult for anyone stressors on top of that. For some, this is almost too much to bear.
As I’m on my own journey of self-compassion and growth, I find myself trying to pay attention to everything I do and analyze it into this question of whether or not I’m being myself or putting on a facade. I’m not saying this is or is not how you should go about your own practice, but sometimes this is how I go about mine.
In the past week, I’ve noticed that I am starting to falter. My insecurities, which have been sitting on the sidelines for a few weeks have returned to the court. I’ve been feeling anxious to the point that it is literally painful. I’m nauseous and tense, and seemingly trapped in circular thinking. I can’t interact with a person without wondering how I came off, or how they took it, or if it’s even what I wanted to say at all. I am so stressed out that just getting a text message throws me off kilter and turns into an avoidance spiral. There were of course precursors to how I’m feeling this past week but at the core of it, social anxiety is my achilles heel. We’ve all got an achilles heel, and when that heel starts to ache, it means it’s time to turn inward, and up the self-care.
Self-Care To Dos (A Glimpse)
Turn Off Your Phone
Seriously, that text message can wait. Leave your phone in the car, in the house, bury it in the backyard, I don’t care but put it in a place where it’ll be out of sight, out of mind. (This means you get a break from the pressure of email, a to do list, responding to texts, being there for others, and social media.)
Someone wants to hang out? Nope. You have a weekly date with a friend? Nope. This doesn’t mean you’re always saying No, but if you’ve been putting yourself outside of your comfort zone and just need a break, take it.
You aren’t a bad friend, you aren’t a bad parent, you aren’t a bad child, you aren’t a bad person. I understand if you still feel like you are though. Say No anyway, because this is about building new habits, testing some of your fears, and opening yourself to new possibilities.
Take a Mental Health Day
Call out of work or leave work early, skip class, call a babysitter to take the kids for a few hours. Everyone will thank you later when you return to your daily life rejuvenated.
Similar to the above - You aren’t a bad employee, manager, or co-worker, etc. Your mind and emotions are just as important as your body - in fact they are a part of your body.
Ask Yourself - What Do I Need Right Now? And Do It
If you’ve done all of the above, the fun part now is getting to do what you actually need (or want ;)). Need a nap? Need a bath? Need to go for a run? Need some ice cream? Need to stare at the television screen? Need to meditate? This is you time and if what you’re doing doesn’t feel right, you have full control to stop and do something else.
This is obviously not an exhaustive list of self care tools but it’s a starting point. I’m going to write a lot more about this topic over the coming months but in the meantime, come up with your own list of things and feel free to share them! Write a list of things that you fully truly want to do in your core, not things that people tell you you’re supposed to do.
If you find you’re having trouble coming up with a list, just know that’s normal, and it doesn’t mean you’ll never create your list. It just means it’s time to start noticing what you enjoy. More on that to come.