“I just don’t have free time.” “I have too many responsibilities.” “I have to take care of my family.” “How can I take time for myself when [my loved one] is struggling?” “I feel selfish taking time for myself.”
These are just a few things we have heard — or have said ourselves — when we are caught up in our lives and find ourselves neglecting self-care.
Now, think about this: when someone faces a health crisis — say, a heart attack — and the doctor prescribes exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That person who once claimed to have no free time will find it, because it is a matter of life and death.
Now, think about the advice you might give to loved ones who tell you they are tired or stressed or have had a bad day. Do something good for yourself, you might say. Take a walk, make a cup of tea, watch a comedy.
Now, consider the instructions we’re given on airplanes to prepare for a possible emergency, when the oxygen masks drop down. We’re told to put on our oxygen masks first, before assisting others. The reason is simple: we must be our best selves to be able to help others.
Now, isn’t it time you prioritized self-care?
We each have activities and practices that work best for us. A discussion at our office and a question we posed online earlier this year yielded this list of self-care activities of ways you can take care of yourself.
Attending a support group
Playing with kids
Listening to music
Watching sitcoms and comic movies
Disconnecting from devices
Cooking healthy foods
Walking on the beach
Hiking in nature
Spending quiet time in nature
Calling a friend
Reading a book
Writing in a journal
Creating art: painting, drawing, etc.