By Trafalgar’s Editorial Team
This Content is Created By Aneisa Maley, B.A, M.A.
Hi, everyone, my name is Aneisa and I am a counsellor at Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres, and today we’re going to be talking about self care.
What is self-care?
Self-care is any action that you can take for yourself by yourself to ensure that you are feeling good both physically, mentally, psychologically and socially.
You want to take any step you can in order to make sure that all of these needs are met in each area. A lot of the times we go through life on autopilot, not necessarily realizing how we might feel and what we might want or need or what even makes us feel good anymore.
Generally, we have a million and one obligations between our work, our home life, the kids, your spouse and a million other obligations that you may encounter. The thing about this is we build resentment by giving so much of ourselves to each outlet and leaving so little left in the tank for us.
When we practice self-care in a preventative way, a preventative way literally just means we do it. Not when we reach burnout, not when we reach resentment. Not we’re so upset that we have nothing left and we can’t even fathom to move.
We practice self-care every day. We practice self care in little ways, and we make sure that there is a day that we can take for ourselves, for self care, often and regularly, so that this kind of upset and resentment and feeling of running low doesn’t occur as often. And if it does start to occur, we can realize it more quickly because we are more self aware and in tune to our body as well as our needs. And as such, we can apply more self care tips and tools when we start to feel this feeling to try to calm ourselves down.
What kind of things can we do for self-care?
So what kind of things can we do for self-care? Well, cliche is take a bath at night, right? We’ve all heard that one get a bath bomb and jump in the tub and relax. And that might be great for some people. And some people might love it. Other people might not be for them. The beauty of self-care is my self-care list does not have to reach or match up to any of your self-care lists. Everyone’s can be different. But I invite you guys to get a piece of paper and pen out and write down what your self-care list consists of.
I’ll give you a few examples.
Unplugging from social media might be one. Sometimes we just want to be alone with our thoughts, without being bothered, without being asked to do something. And taking that time to unplug is so important and healthy for our mental health.
It could be reading a new book. It could be organizing a space that you really, really wanted to organize for a while. It could be meditating for five minutes every morning or every night or even taking a longer duration of time to meditate.
It could be going outside for a walk, making a recipe you’ve never made before, taking a nap or even.
Taking the time to build something that you haven’t built before, it could be talking to a friend finally surfing that site that you wanted or purchasing that item, it could be making candles or paint by number.
There are many things that you can do for self-care. And the list is endless.
You can find many self-care lists on the Internet. But I would really invite you to simply use those as a template and really tune in to see what is it that you feel you need today, what is it you feel you need in general and take and make time to do those things?
The reason this is so important is because when we don’t take or make time to do these things, we, as I said before, build up resentment. We can’t become upset and we feel empty because of constantly giving ourselves to different places and not taking time to refuel, not taking time to check in with ourselves and make sure that we’re getting what we need.
Pick a day for self-care
The way I find the easiest to practice self care is to make sure that I’m doing one thing a day that is helpful and caring for myself. But further, I take it a little bit further, and I try to ensure that I have one day a week that I can take a prolonged amount of time to practice self-care.
So for me, I call it Wellness Wednesdays. And on this day, I make sure not to schedule anything extra. I make sure to communicate to my friends and my family and even work that I am unavailable. On Wednesday evenings. On this Wednesday evening, I may watch my favorite Netflix show. I may do some yoga. I may take a prolonged exercise break, perhaps meal prep or try a recipe I never have before.
Each Wednesday it might look different, but each Wednesday it is something I do for myself, for other therapy sessions.
On Wednesday, I always try to book and make sure that that is consistent because I know that that’s something preventative that I can continuously engage and that will help with my mental health.
So I invite you guys to, you know, pick a day and give it a go, but make sure that your day is non-negotiable. Make sure that you really take this time for yourself because you deserve it. You deserve your energy. You will be able to give a lot more when you are mindful of your own energy and when you take time to refuel. Thank you.