Recently, I took a CEU training on mental health for teens and could literally feel my synapses at work because the dots were finally connecting during the self-care section. I used to think self-care was about a manicure or the occasional happy hour with the gals. But I’m not a 22-year-old new mom anymore, so let me be your wise old owl. Sometimes we moms live with a lot of mom-guilt. And so we either don’t or won’t take the time to take care of ourselves.
Mamas: There’s a reason why they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first in an airplane.
There are eight categories of self-care essentials. I know you might be thinking how in the world can I possibly add more to my abundant to-do list. But this truly will help set the foundation for a better you and trickle into all the things you already want and hope for; just more strategically outlined.
- Social Wellness. Humans need connection. We need to connect with others. When you take time to tap into those friendships, relationships, or whoever is in your circle of support it feeds your soul…so don’t just say “let’s get together soon,” do it. I’ve taken several leaps to join new circles, and yes it was nerve-racking at first, but push past that. With social distancing, we have definitely discovered new ways of connecting, I hope we always continue that tradition.
- Environmental Wellness. Safety first! Be safe. Feel safe. Next, maintain a positive perspective no matter the environment. Yes, even if it’s been the same living room, bedroom, or patio for the last six months or more BC you know, COVID. And last I think of Joey on Full House, “Cut it out.” Cut out toxicity – toxins or toxic people. Okay, actually the training crafted it more like this: limit exposure to harmful substances and influences. I know it’s hard to do, but think about that 10-foot pole we wouldn’t go near certain people with. Well, it’s time to enforce it.
- Physical Wellness. Of course, add or maintain some activity, but add to that healthy sleeping/sleeping habits. Now let’s talk about nutritious eating. By conditioning myself to see it as self-care rather than dieting or trying to get more veggies in or cutting back I can simply do small acts for myself on my self-care plan. I think this will work for me when I force feed myself all of my beloved carbs turned cauliflower. Cauliflower mash? Self-care. Cauliflower rice? Self-care. Cauliflower bread thins? Ahh, you can do this self. Shall I order the steak salad or steak and potato? Girl, it’s self-care time.
- Emotional Wellness. There’s quite a lot on this one, but for me, coping with stress is a biggie – perhaps the biggest of the self-care essentials. I feel I’ve gone through life with little to no coping mechanisms and honestly, some of the mechanisms I would fall back on are not the good kind. Plus, also remember to be realistic about your expectations and about time.
- Intellectual Wellness. Have thoughtful, stimulating conversations on topics that are new or familiar. Bring in your social circle and voila! Double dipping on the self-care. I’m a little burnt out, but yes staying abreast of current affairs is self-care; not to be confused with current Facebook opinions.
- Spiritual Wellness. Define your personal values and ethics (write or type it out.) Spend time alone for personal reflection. Be in the HERE and NOW.
- Financial Wellness. So much to say on this, but the bottom line: balance the wants and the needs. For me, when I budget and coupon now I’m like go homie with your self-care. Future goals will be to study up on it (see next section).
8. Occupational Wellness. This should bring about personal satisfaction and enrichment. Fulfillment in this area can also come from volunteering. Many of us have some number of CEUs, CEs, CLEs for whatever field we’re in, but even if you don’t, do some self-care and study something new, different, or similar. I’m not a mental health provider, but I see how it is so much a part of the human condition so I signed up to study the topic. And oh-my-wow am I glad I did!
How do you take care of you? Do you have any self-care essentials? Leave us a comment with your wise ways!
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