Self-Care Outside the Box
Self-care is more than beer and bubble baths. The foundation of self-care is love. Think about all the ways in which we love others. We do things for them to their benefit. We value their health and happiness. We CAN include ourselves in this equation. Like the oxygen mask on an airplane, we must put the oxygen mask on first before attempting to help others. We are no good to anyone else if we are not well ourselves. We cannot pour from an empty cup.
It starts with valuing yourself. Then recognizing what energizes and re-charges you as well as what drains you. Finally, set limits and boundaries around those activities.
Consider these areas when assessing your self-care: physical health, job satisfaction, financial security, spiritual health, recreation activities, and relationships.
Schedule and protect the time necessary for these areas just like you would for a loved one’s doctor appointment.
While considering ways to improve your own self-care, think outside the box and ask yourself simply; What do I enjoy? Foods, beverages, TV shows, books, activities, movies, crafts, hobbies, etc. What brings me joy? Family, friends, kids and pets, invest your time here.
For myself, I love good food, fresh produce and trying new meals. It is time consuming but is great self-care for me. Food is the language of love! Music is healing to me. I feel happy when watching classic 60s movies. I feel good getting sun on my face. Did you know that the sun helps brain function? When sunlight is received by the optic nerve, it decreases melatonin (the sleepy chemical) increasing alertness and improving cognition. Natural outdoor light is best but full spectrum light bulbs can be helpful.
If you want to dig deeper into the areas of your life where you can improve self-care check out a tool called “The Wheel of Life”. This tool, used by psychologists and life coaches, was developed in the 1960s by Paul J. Meyer the creator of the Success Motivation Institute. It can serve quite insightful while thinking outside the box for attending to your self-care.
Here’s to “happily ever after” one habit at a time.