Self-Care? What’s that?

Where do I begin?

As a therapist, I talk to, my clients a lot about the importance of self-care. It’s a preventative approach to help preserve energy for the things that matter, manage stress and get after your best life. What I realized, though, is I’m not doing a very good job of it myself. I’m a self-care fail. I get overwhelmed by the idea and I don’t know where to start.

The Gym?

Like most people, I wear many hats. I have two jobs. I manage a team of people who depend on me to be clear. I travel a lot for work. I log in most mornings to no less than 100 emails. Gym, what gym? I can’t remember the last time I actually broke a sweat. I’m over-stimulated and don’t remember how to slow down and take care of myself.

Take a Break

Then I remembered that I don’t have to completely change my day-to-day life. Self-care is supposed to be about you. It’s about focusing your attention on your needs. It can mean taking a break from emails and going for a 5-minute walk. It’s taking that lunch break and leaving your phone behind so you can enjoy a conversation with your co-worker. It’s pouring yourself a glass of wine and turning on your favorite music while you cook dinner. It’s about waiting to return a phone call so you can read a few chapters of a new book.

3 good Things

Don’t over-commit yourself. Set a small and achievable goal so that it doesn’t feel like one more thing you have to do on a list of many. To get you started, I’ll share my own idea. Usually, on Sunday nights, my to-do list for the upcoming week starts playing in my head. Instead of enjoying the last few hours of the weekend, I’m dreading what awaits me. So, each day this week I will jot down 3 good things about my day. At the end of the week, I will review the list to remind myself that I have a lot to be grateful for.

As you decide on that one thing you can do to take care of yourself, remember that you are important as all of the things that occupy your time and energy. Take a little time today to think about yourself.