The Importance of Self-Care

I have found that self care is one of the first things I give up when I am stressed and overworked.  If you are not thinking “bad idea,” you should be!

 

Self-care is not about self-indulgence, it's about self-preservation. (1)We must nurture our spirit, mind, and body to remain compassionate and effective healers.  Losing that edge doesn’t cause us to give bad care, but it does make us seem insensitive and detached.  Of course, this perception will ultimately affect compliance and the robustness of our care.

 

Today, I want to move beyond the big picture self care items you are thinking about (exercise, healthy eating, etc.) to two simple, quick techniques you can use to improve your day-to-day practice of self care.

 

Technique #1: A breath of fresh air

 

Name an item that immediately anchors you to a calm feeling.  This can be an object, a photo, a quote, etc.  I would encourage you to incorporate this item into your workspace and to create a ritual around it.  If you have multiple work areas, perhaps there are multiple anchors you can integrate into those spaces.

 

As you go through your day, look to this anchor to provide a calming sensation when it is needed.  Focus for a few seconds and allow your spirit to be soothed.  Let tranquility replace the other feeling(s) you have at that time.  This breath of fresh air will help you overcome adversity when you need it most.

 

Technique #2: Can I buy you a drink?    

 

The afternoon tends to be the toughest time of the day for me, and incorporating this practice has really helped to refresh my mood and reenergize my spirit.

 

Pick your favorite beverage and take a few minutes to do nothing but drink that beverage.  (I know you are busy, so set a timer if it helps.)

 

When I say do nothing else, I really mean it.  Be mindful of how the beverage feels in your hand.  Pay attention to the aroma.  Notice how it feels in your mouth.

 

It will be tempting to multi-task, but don’t.  Make self-renewal your only task for these few moments.  You’ll be surprised that it only takes a couple of minutes to feel restored.

 

In the comment section, please share the self care routines that are part of your day.  I’d love to hear from you!

 

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