Self-Care: Five to Ten Minutes Can Go a Long Way
Life is busy. It becomes difficult to juggle work, family, relationships, ourselves, etc. For this reason, I would like to focus on the importance of taking care of ourselves, which therapists call, self-care.
Most of us are guilty, at one time or another in our lives, of dismissing ourselves. I often find clients expending so much effort and energy into their work, kids, family, and relationships. These things are obviously important, but when asked, “How do you like to spend your me-time?” the answers range from “I don’t have time for that” or “I don’t think I give myself time.” It is important to fulfill ourselves so we have energy and motivation to put into the other parts of our lives.
I have noticed, though, that self-care becomes confused with indulging. What is the difference you ask? When you indulge, you spend more money than you usually would on a dinner, or you treat yourself to a fancy dessert because you feel like you deserve it. Self-care is making sure you are practicing things that are healthy for your mind, body, and spirit. Some examples of self-care include: making sure you are getting enough sleep at night, eating healthy (which can be a challenge especially when you are stressed), and allowing yourself healthy outlets for stress (such as mediation, yoga, exercise, drawing, journaling). Even if we just take 5-10 minutes a day for ourselves, it can be beneficial for many parts of our lives.
When we don’t take time to take care of ourselves, stress can take a toll on us as it builds up. When stress isn’t managed in a healthy way it can lead to health problems such as heart problems, high blood pressure, over-eating or not eating enough. I know I am asking you to think a bit into the future, but it is important that we are aware of the negative effects that can occur when we do not place importance on ourselves.
I ask my clients to take some time to listen to themselves. Just like you take time to check in with your partner about how they are doing, the same can be applied to yourself. Take time out of your day to ask yourself how you are doing. Caring for yourself in the moment and paying attention to your mind, body, and spirit may help manage feeling overwhelmed in the future.
Some questions you can ask yourself as you check in throughout your day are:
- What thoughts am I having in this moment?
- How does my body feel?
- What feelings are present for me right now?
Think about the time of day that would work best for you, and add it to your routine. Keep in mind that creating a new habit takes time. Setting reminders for self care may be helpful in making it happen. Happy self care!