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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Praus, MSE, LPCC

Self-Care for the Mind, Body and Spirit

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Have you been forgetting to take care of yourself? I mean really take care of yourself. The kind of self-care that you deserve after endless days at the office or running errand after errand. The kind of self-care that makes you feel so good that you actually experience a sense of relaxation. The self-care that you wish you had time for after baking those cookies for your daughters school function, running your son to his soccer practice, doing all of the laundry (loads of laundry), picking up random objects around the house and finding their rightful place, and listening to your partner talk about his stressful day for what feels like the remainder of the evening. You taking a deep breath and remind yourself that the day is almost over. You can finally go to bed and relax.

The day is almost over. Have you forgotten to take care of yourself? I do not just mean making it through the day and finally crawling into bed feeling exhausted and mindless. When you get into your bed you close your eyes and the thoughts begin to stir. You are reminded of all of the things you need to do tomorrow.

Self-care benefits you. All of those hectic things that you do and complete during your day entitle you to self-care, because let me tell you, if you take care of yourself (and I mean truly take care of yourself), you can do all of those things even better tomorrow. This does not mean that you are not doing them well now. You are absolutely doing them well now. Taking care of yourself will allow for you to feel better when doing these things.

Self-care allows for you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself. You are important and it is vital to have a healthy relationship with yourself. If you are good to yourself, you can be good to/for others. You have to love yourself. There is only one you in this lifetime, and if you are not taking time to love yourself, then you are truly missing out on life. Give yourself a little self-love with a little self-care. A little can go a long way.

As you practice self-care you may find that you feel healthier with time. Self-care has many benefits for your mental health. Engaging in self-care is a natural way to allow your body and mind to regulate and function. Self-care can increase you ability to manage your stress and anxiety more appropriately. Taking care of yourself can even improve your overall mood.

There is not a systematic plan for practicing self-care. Just try it and see how it goes. Try it once a day for a week or two, and when you get the hang of it, add on another self-care activity. Every day will be different and some days you will feel like a complete failure at taking care of yourself. If this happens, remind yourself that you are doing your best. Sometimes doing your best does not always feel encouraging. I want you to know that you can always try again tomorrow. Also, self-care is not a “one size fits all” process. It is best to try several different self-care activities and find ones that make you feel good. If you find activities that seem to flow well with you and your needs, hang on to these and do them as often as you can.

Here is a list of self-care activities:

Get plenty of sleep Eat a balanced diet Drink enough water Stretch Try a fitness class Take breaks from electronics Say "no"

Set boundaries

Take a few deep breaths Avoid triggers Listen to music Play games Enjoy sunshine Write/journal Draw/color Read a book Garden Ride your bike Go for a hike Talk to your friends Bake your favorite dessert Dance Play with your pet Organize your room DIY project Turn off your phone

Turn off your tv Meditate Practice yoga Practice gratitude Take a hot bath

Take a hot shower Apply a facial mask Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea Listen to a podcast Work on something that inspires you Get a massage Eat your favorite meal Eat your favorite dessert Give yourself a manicure/pedicure Paint Movie with a friend

Curl up in a warm blanket

Read a new book

Practice RAIN

Say kind words to yourself

Acknowledge the things you did today

Buy a few plants to place around the home

Turn on your humidifier during colder/dry weather seasons

I hope that this list has inspired you to begin self-care. You are worth it!

Take (self) care!


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