A Peer’s Perspective: Five Self Care Activities
While February brings hearts, flowers and well-placed prose to every gift shop around for Valentine’s Day, here’s a challenge to show some love to yourself this month.
This is a topic I have often revisited in my own life and as it is with all relationships, the relationship with self takes commitment, time and effort. While we may not always think it, you and I are worth all three.
For some of us, thinking about bolstering a positive self-image can evoke the memory of SNL’s Jack Handey mantra “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” And while there is something to be said for positive affirmations, we can look a bit deeper into ways to enhance how we feel about ourselves. Explore with me now some ways to begin building appreciation and value into your view of the wonderful person that you are.
Try These Five Self Care Activities
#1 – Make Time for Self Care
Set time for self-care. We sometimes feel there aren’t enough hours in a day to accomplish all that we have to get done. Do you count yourself as a priority? There’s no getting water from an empty pitcher, and you regain the ability to pour more out by refilling and replenishing. Setting time aside for you is a vital part of self-care, whether that’s playing music, taking a walk, or a class, or another pleasure. It might mean taking time for yourself when other needs are knocking, and that leads into…
#2 – Setting Boundaries for Self Care
Setting boundaries. While it’s a wonderful thing to be there for others, doing so without taking care of yourself can leave you feeling depleted and resentful. It’s especially helpful to set a limit or boundary with friends and family when you know you might be running low on energy or resources. This isn’t to say that you need to ignore the needs of others, rather, it’s remembering that you have needs too. Finding balance creates healthier ways of relating to others and it isn’t selfish, it’s self-care!
#3 – Positive Affirmations for Self Care
How do you talk to yourself? Words have power, and loving yourself includes self-talk and narrative that reflect self-appreciation. If you struggle with finding those words, try Jack Handey’s! You are just as important as those that you encourage and oh-so-deserving of the same!
#4 – Self Care Goals
Lastly, set goals. There’s nothing more satisfying and empowering than achieving a goal. Large or small, breaking through the ribbon at the finish line of a self-directed goal is worthy of celebration! Maybe for some it’s just doing your best to get through another day, for others perhaps it’s finding a new way to add to your resiliency, finding a better job or taking another sober step into the New Year.
#5 – Reaching out for Support
We all need support from loved ones, and sometimes we need professional support. If you are feeling overwhelmed or hopeless, know that there are community resources available. Mind Springs Health offers outpatient therapy and counseling for those across the Western slope of Colorado, and West Springs Hospital offers inpatient care for psychiatric emergencies.
Start Practicing Self Care Today
What do you want your life to look like? Lucille Ball said it well with “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world” so go ahead and show yourself how much you care.
Jill Davis, CPFS is Peer Services Coordinator for Mind Springs Health and is here to support her readers.
Drop her a line at Peers@MindSpringsHealth.org