Don't Be too Busy to Take Care of You
The Importance of Self Care!
Author: Dr. Julie. Sorenson, DMFT, MA, LPC
Have you ever traveled on an airplane? One of the first things the flight attendant says before taking off is “you can’t put someone else’s oxygen mask on before you put on yours.” This is true in life, if you are constantly taking care of other people first then you will burn out. You are important and you need to make yourself a priority by practicing self-care daily.
Self-care can be used as a shield from burnout. Many individuals are so busy with their careers, school, and running the kids everywhere that they often become ill. Figuring out a way to find at least twenty minutes in your day can allow you to recharge your battery. Just as our devices won’t work if we don’t charge them, when you burn the candles at both ends, your body will tell you to slow down by becoming sick, stressed, or fatigued. When stress piles up, you are much better able to handle it if you are taking time each day for you.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is recognizing when you are biting off more than you can chew and realizing your need to slow down. It is allowing yourself to get adequate sleep and trying to get the proper amount of sleep that best suits you. Self-care means ensuring that you are taking time to eat. Nutrition is important for your body. Some people don’t take the time to eat or eat healthy because they are so busy, while others may be stress eating. Eating well means you are taking the time for yourself to plan your meals and provide eating routines that will allow the proper nutrition for your body.
Taking care of yourself is essential allowing yourself to decompress throughout your day. Take deep breaths, or short walks during the workday Resting your body and mind by grabbing a cold glass of water, talking to a friend, or listening to your favorite song. Allowing yourself permission to take a pause will do wonders for your brain and stress levels. Recognizing the important tasks that you need to get done and organizing your workday will allow you to feel less stressed and you will feel more productive.
Distressing after work allows you to put the workday behind you and prepare yourself for the evening routines. Crank up that music on the way home, go for a run, try meditation, or call a friend to catch up. Remember that self-care is reaching out to a loved one or playing with your animals, which releases so much tension from the day.
Self-care is finding the time to do the things you love with the people that you love. It is also taking the time to find out who you are and want you to want. Sometimes people are so busy trying to please others that they aren’t taking care of themselves which can lead to burnout. Remember you are important, and you deserve to take time for yourself.
Examples of Self-Care
- Exploring nature – nature tends to allow you to feel at peace.
- Reading a good book – reading can take you on new destinations and journeys, which allow you to get lost in a new world.
- Journaling – journaling allows you to get things from your brain to paper while recognizing things that you may not have been consciously aware of.
- Practicing gratitude has statistically proven to release endorphins which are the feel-good hormones in your body. People that show gratitude are more likely to bounce back from life’s stressors.
- Take on a new hobby – learning a new hobby opens your mind to new adventures.
- Working out working out can help to reduce stress while making you feel better about your own body.
- Be in the moment – put your devices down and be in the moment, allows your brain to recharge and you to be a part of something you may have missed.
- Add meditation to your daily routine – meditation can clear your mind, releasing stress from your body.
- Play with your pet or take it for a walk – spending time with your pet lowers blood pressure, and releases cortisol and dopamine. Cortisol assists in controlling blood sure while dopamine is a mood booster providing feelings of pleasure and motivation.
- Listening to music – music can diminish stress and provide avenues to alter your mood.
You Are Never to Busy to Take Care of You
You are never too busy to take care of yourself. If you find yourself having difficulties in finding the time, reach out to one of our therapists they will be happy to provide you with tools to promote self-care. Even on your busiest days, you can find 20 minutes to recharge your battery. Think of self-care as a lifestyle change or a way of life. If you have children and you take the time for self-care, you are modeling healthy habits for future generations.
Baratta, M (2018) Self Care 101, 10 ways to take better care of you, Psychology Today
Dorfman, D (2020) The Benefits of Pet Love, Psychology Today
Heshmat, S, (2019) Music, Emotion, and Well Being. How does music affect the way we think, feel, and behave? Psychology Today
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