Why should we care about Self Care?

Posted in: For Educators & Practitioners, Girls Leadership Network (GLN), Health Resources, Leadership & Advocacy, Mental Health, Safety, Social & Emotional Health
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With the changing of the seasons around the corner, why not make an effort to make a change in our own lives with some Self Care?  The holidays are coming, which can be stressful for some, and mid-terms are happening for our students, so we thought we’d remind everyone of ways we can take care of ourselves.  It’s great to have friends and family to rely on, but it’s also a beautiful thing to realize how much we can do for ourselves.
empty cup
Self-care is not selfish, self-care is self-compassion.  We have to be gentle and loving with ourselves.  Self-care does not come naturally to everyone, so for those of us that need reminders to look out for ourselves, here’s a couple simple suggestions to feeling better about yourself.
act of survival
Smaller, tangible self care activities:
  1. Make yourself a cup of tea and watch funny videos on Youtube.
  2. Pamper yourself – at home. Give your nails a fresh coat, put lotion on and massage your body as you go, brush your hair softly, take a relaxing hot shower or even a bath!
    bath tub
  3. Take yourself out on a date – for coffee, for ice cream, and take time to enjoy your own company.
  4. Write a list of 10 things you like about yourself and read it out loud.
  5. When you’re stressed, set your alarm for ten minutes and put one hand on your hand and one on your stomach and take deep, “belly breaths.” Count from 1-10; on the in breath say the number and on the out breath, say out loud, “Relax”.
    time out
  6. If you have something on your chest that you need to say, but don’t know how, then try writing it down. Writing a letter to someone that you may not give them can help you let go of the emotions, and to be able to move on more quickly and easier.
  7. Let your creative self shine. Color a mandala, make a bracelet, design a picture collage.  When you see the art you create, you will be able to see yourself in a whole new light, and all the beauty that you bring into this world.
  8. Get more sleep at night. Take naps during the day.  Close your eyes for 15 minutes.  Take small pauses to rest and you’ll be more productive in the long run.  Do nothing for two minutes; this site will count the minutes for you!
  9. Write a list of 10 things you are grateful for – it could be the sun on a sunny day, or a good home cooked meal, or the sunflowers in your yard, anything that makes you smile.
  10. Head to the beach and just allow yourself to do nothing but watch the tide come in and out. Remember everything in life, all life’s challenges, come and go like the tide.let someone love you

Bigger steps

  1. Set boundaries. Re-evaluate your schedule.  Is it realistic?  Are you letting yourself enough time to do the things you love and that make you feel whole inside yourself?  Did you sign up for 10 activities at the beginning of the year because you were so excited and now you’re running low on energy?  Try choosing 1-2 activities to focus on and give all your energy to those.  The others can wait, and they will be there next year, if it’s still for you.  Remember, one step at a time.
  2. Schedule “me time” on your calendar – whether it’s yoga, walking in nature, reading, or just relaxing with the TV, allow yourself time to be you, in whatever form that day brings, without shame, and guilt, or any of those other emotions. Let yourself breathe.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being humble and admitting you can’t do everything you thought you could isn’t easy.  Text a friend, even if you can’t bring yourself to call and share, and say, “Please send me love right now.”  Sometimes that’s all you need and know people want to help.12 steps

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