CJL Blog: Staying Aware

The Insider to Trauma, Substance and Relationships

Self-Care and You: Why is it Important?

During my undergraduate and graduate studies, my professors always encouraged self-care. As I look back, many had difficulties with providing effective ways to master caring for yourself. Often, I have wondered if they had mastered the balance of home, being a therapist and taking care of themselves.  Honestly, it is not easy to find a routine to meet your personal needs. Truly, it is a trial by error.  Walking may be working for me, but not for you.

We all need to be aware that at some point in our busy lives, we need to relax and become attuned with ourselves.  Or, we fall into a repetitive schedule. Wake up, get ready for work, work our 9 to 5, pick up the kids, cook dinner, get everyone ready for bed, and start your day all over again.  Before you know it, your body has started the conversation with you. You avoid that conversation by pushing yourself harder. Your body and mind begin to yell, “We Need Help. At this point, you can no longer ignore the conversation. Unfortunately, exhaustion has forced you to take days off from work. Or your eating habits are not as healthy as you would prefer. Therefore, it is important to have frequent rituals to practice reducing the chances of burnout, exhaustion, and feelings of hopelessness.

Tips for Self-Care (Body, Mind, and Soul):

1.       Water: A bottle in the morning helps to jumpstart your day. For every cup of coffee, a person should have two cups of water.

2.       Walking:  Walking is good for you, but being able to remove yourself from a situation, where you feel an increase in your anxiety or feeling irritated, is even better.  Get up and stretch your legs. Or after lunch, take a ten-minute walk away from the office.

3.       Complimentary Journal: A co-worker taught me this coping skill.  Sometimes, we need to be reminded of the people we helped in the past.

4.       Hanging out with friends:  being able to be around people after work or on the weekend helps to unwind the mind, which will calm the body. The golden rule is not discussing the content of your work.

5.       Leave work at work: I have been guilty of this too. A case, keeping me up at night. Wondering if the right decisions were being made. Or worried about the deadlines approaching. This is not always an easy task. Often, we are consumed by the responsibilities of work. Especially, when you feel you have something to prove. Boundaries needs to be put into place to have a healthy lifestyle. Work is work. Play time is a play time.

6.       Read inspirational work: This does not have to be a work-related topic. Sometimes, being able to let your mind wonder is helpful.

7.       Create a to-do-list:  Create a list of things you wish you could do during your free time. Have an adventure.

8.       Meditation: Mediation is useful in becoming attune to your emotions, your thoughts and remain focus on what is important to you.

There are a hundred different healthy methods of self-care. It is important to identify a method for yourself.