Sometimes, when people think of self-care they imagine bubble baths, a mani-pedi, or maybe a massage, basically things people do to pamper themselves, and while these are all possible examples of self-care, self-care is anything that you do to take care of yourself.


One of the unfortunate misconceptions of self-care is that it is somehow selfish; but, as adults we don't have caretakers, which means we need to take care of ourselves! Even if you understand that self-care isn't selfish, it is something that people can neglect as a result of busy lives and other priorities.


I am here to tell you that you are a priority; so please, don't neglect yourself!


There are many different ways to engage in self-care. It can be physical, mental, emotional, or even relational.


Physical

Examples of physical self-care might include getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and making sure you see a doctor and dentist.


Mental/Emotional

Mental and emotional self-care could include things like meditating or attending therapy, journaling, seeking social support, or engaging in an activity or hobby such as watching a tv show/movie, reading a book, cooking/baking, making art, going to a dance or yoga class, taking a walk/hike, or attending a breathwork or soundbath class.


Relational

There are other examples of self-care that deal with how you relate to people in your life such as your employer, family, and friends. For example, you might practice self-care with your employer by not checking your work e-mail after a certain time, taking your lunch breaks, or using your sick/vacation leave. Practicing self-care with friends and family also often involves setting boundaries. For example, saying no to a favor a friend has asked when you are feeling overwhelmed or limiting the time you spend with difficult family members.


What do you do for self-care? Do you think it is selfish or is it something that you neglect? If so, how can you shift your thinking to understand that taking care of yourself is absolutely foundational to everything else you do and make self-care a priority?


See if you can make a commitment to experiment with different ways of engaging in self-care that work for you; what are some specific ways of practicing self-care that you can start today?


If you are interested in learning more or in working with me please go to my homepage to contact me or schedule your free 15-minute phone call.


Please note that the information in this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for psychological or medical care. If you are looking for professional help, visit my resources page for guidance on how to find a therapist. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest ER.

© 2020 Carissa Gustafson, Psy.D.  All rights reserved.

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