Self-care: Investing in our mental and emotional wellbeing

The term self-care has gained quite the notoriety in recent years. People are talking about it in their personal lives and organizations are even discussing it and encouraging their employees to participate in it. But what does self-care mean? And for all the talk how does one actually “do” self-care. We all know that getting a massage or treating yourself to a nice dinner can be extremely relaxing. However, the truth is many people cannot afford to indulge in those activities. Below are some things we can do to take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally:

  1. Assess the energy (people) you allow in your personal space and adjust accordingly
    1. Pay attention to how you feel when certain people enter your space. Do you feel tense when this person is around? Do you feel less sure of yourself in their presence? Do they make you laugh? Do you feel energized by conversing with them or do you feel drained?
    1. Limit the time you spend with people who bring negative energy to your space. Increase the time you spend with people who bring positive energy, you will physically feel the difference these small changes make in your life.
  2. Find activities that you enjoy and spend more time doing them
    1. What helps you boost your mood? Music, spending time with friends, enjoying nature. Identify what makes you feel good and spend more time doing so. Pay particular attention to activities that you “lose yourself in” these activities allow you to be fully present in the moment.
  3. Forgive yourself, as often as you need to
    1. How many of us have laid in bed at night replaying our mistakes? We replay the many things that we could have done differently or ruminate on things we missed or forgot to do. Forgive yourself and forgive yourself often. A previous supervisor would say the following: “I am doing the best that I can and I can do better” and this is a phrase that I say to myself often. Sometimes I do my best and I still fall short, I forgive myself for my shortcomings and work to do better next time.
  4. Find your peeps!
    1. Sounds simple, right? Find people who are like minded, who are catalysts for your personal growth, who are encouraging and who are honest with you. This may take some time, but it is worth it. 
  5. Take a break
    1. We constantly hear about the importance of taking time off. However, many of us struggle to enjoy our down time. We are inundated with images of people who are “booked and busy.” But the reality is rest is vital to our health. Take breaks when you can, enjoy a day in bed binging on your favorite television show or with a good book. Your physical and mental health with thank you.

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