Self-care is one of the those words we hear a lot about. It probably conjures up some images for you. It might be the image of a bubble bath, or a spa treatment, massage, glass of wine, or taking a night for yourself. Those things are great; there’s nothing wrong with those, but that’s a very narrow definition of self-care. I want to expand a little bit and throw out some ideas about what self-care might look like that doesn’t involve spa treatments and large chunks of time and money.
My definition of self-care is anything that allows you to maintain or expand your capacity in your life. [Self-care] gives you time and energy for the people and the things that you love and allows you to keep up with work and relationships family and all those things things that you’ve chosen to prioritize in your life.
One of the first questions I like to ask is “What are you saying no to in your life?” Are you saying no to being on a certain committee? Are you saying no to a certain activity that maybe you enjoy but know that you need more alone time? Are you saying no doing a lot of emotional labor for a friend or family member that isn’t able to reciprocate for you? If you saw the other video I did on boundaries -- how to lovingly set a boundary so that you have some kind of peace of mind for yourself -- boundaries absolutely or self-care
Something I like to say about self-care is that it does not have to be these grand gestures and big investment of time and money. Absolutely not! In fact, the most effective and sustainable self-care is little things throughout the day: just taking a moment to breathe, putting your phone on silent for five minutes, clearing off a space so that you have some mental space that goes along with your space, blocking out time for things that you love and things that bring you joy. You think “oh, well, that’s not productive at all ,that doesn’t actually contribute to my goals.” I would challenge [that] and say that engaging with things that you love is self-care and does extend your capacity so that you can show up at work and be really on, and so you can show up in your relationships, show up for your family and show up for yourself.
If you would like to work on managing all your commitments while engaging in a really positive, effective self-care, I have a few openings in my practice. You can schedule a free consultation here.
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Laurel Therapy Collective
offers online therapy to California residents for anxiety, transitions, and trauma.