Self-care refers to the activities that we do for ourselves to calm down and restore our energy. These activities can be very different depending on if you’re an introvert or extrovert. Introverts restore their energy by being alone, and extroverts restore their energy by being with lots of people in high energy situations. Self-care is important all the time, but especially when we are under greater stress than usual. I find that it’s easy to forget when I’m stressed out and I have a lot going on, but as soon as I make some time for myself to restore my energy, I’m much better prepared to return to the craziness.
When I did doula training, we talked about self-care and I know my brother had a section in his EMT training that discussed self-care. Often when we’re looking after others, we forget that our own needs are important too. We cannot help others once we are burnt out so we have to make sure we don’t get there. There are lots of tips online for how to take care of yourself when you are caring for others.
For myself, self-care starts with saying no. I have to make sure I don’t have too much going on. I have a tendency to add fun activities to my schedule until I have too many activities and none of them are fun anymore. I do much better when I remember to schedule days off for myself. I find it hard to say no, but it’s necessary for my mental well-being.
Other self-care activities are be baking, painting my nails, coffee or a long walk with a close friend, reading a book, or doing some kind of craft. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and painting my nails, since it’s been hard to stand to bake, and impossible to go for a walk with my broken foot. Sometimes if I have the time, I will take a nap. I’m one of those middle-of-the-day nappers and when I’m on holiday, I’ll have a nap every single afternoon.
- Coffee with a friend
- Watching TV
- Draw a picture
- Paint your nails
- Listen to a guided relaxation
- Go out for dinner with friends
- Order pizza
- Take a break from electronics
What do you do for self-care? Leave your tips in the comments and I’ll add them to this list!