Self-Care: Your Personal Tune-up
by Kasey King, MS
When was the last time you took out time for yourself?
I don't mean using your mandatory lunch break instead of a working lunch at your desk.
When was the last time you actually went on vacation, to the nail shop, met up with friends, or just relaxed? What if I told you that the United States is not even in the top 10, in the whole world, in used vacation? We move so fast, and work so hard, that we are scared to take time off in a world that waits on no one.
Because of this, we experience burnout and disconnected relationships with our friends and family. In addition, we experience high rates of stress, fatigue, anxiety, and hospitalization.
So how does one implement self-care?
Below, I will offer 3 simple steps to implement self-care in your daily regime.
1. Self Worth
The first key to taking care of yourself is understanding that you are worth it. We often put others before our own self, and then we start to believe that we are not worthy. How can you be good for others if you aren't good for yourself?
2. Identifying Stressors
Another key to implementing self-care in your life is identifying stressors.
For many of us, that is work, where we may spend up to 60% of our time (physically, mentally, and/or emotionally). Getting a new job is easier said than done, and if we are doing our "passion," then the resulting feelings of responsibility follow us to every job.
To implement self care at work you can express concerns with your supervisor, utilize the EAP program (if available)
step away from the desk
once an hour to breathe
and take a short walk.
Make self-care a priority the same way you must take lunch during the day, a shower, or responding to emails.
There were times when I would get the kids ready, drop them off, go to work, go to school and come home to take care all of the household things, but never took care of me. After constantly being exhausted, I learned that in order to be good for my co-worker, clients, friends and family, I had to put me first sometimes;
and what does that look like?
Put YOU, in your own calendar. For example, wake up 30 minutes early to read, meditate or enjoy a cup of coffee before the world around you gets noisy. Another example could be scheduling lunch during the week with a friend - no kids allowed. If you haven't spent much time with your family, maybe a picnic at the park or beach - no phones.
Pinterest is also a great go to for visuals on creating self-care calendars, for those who are creative or need a structured plan. Below, you will find examples of vision boards, but they can be structured however you like.
Self care starts within.
It is not just for you but those around you. Like stated above, as you start to work on yourself, you will be better for others as well.
Kasey King is a Marriage and Family Therapy post grad, currently pursuing licensure. She is from Baton Rouge, La. but resides in Mississippi with her husband, who is a United States Navy Chief, and two children. As a military spouse and veteran, Kasey has the desire to help strengthen military families. Currently, Kasey is the lead family therapist at a Child Advocacy Center, and also has her own blog, Hopeful Inspirations-which focuses on marriage, families and relationships.