Obviously, self-care is important.
I talk about it here on the blog a lot, and posts about it are everywhere as well. But no one really talks about how to start a self-care practice for yourself, especially if you may be new to the idea of taking time for yourself or scheduling time for yourself for a multitude of reasons.
As you may know, one of the many hats I wear and the roles that I play is as a social worker. For better or worse, Social work is one of those high burnt rate careers. As I go through my post-grad existence I can see why, and if I am being honest, I am currently burning out......
Anyway, one of the many ways in which to ease burn out is through self-care, which is why during the being of my final grad school internship, my field instructor made me create as self-care practice before I could do any of the interacting with people stuff that I wanted to do. Which at the time, I was kind of annoyed by, but now I am really grateful for and the creation of that practice has been the basis for my self-care now, as well as the Self – Care Sunday Journal Prompts.
So here are my 3 tips in order to create a self-care practice.
1. Find out what your self - care activities are
Everyone has different activities that make them feel good, can help them relax, and can restore themselves after the day has taken everything away. A self-care activity can be anything, and if you are unsure of what this activity is for you, take a moment and think about what activities you got lost in when you were a child. Whether this was a puzzle, drawing, art project, whatever it may be, can and would be a good activity for you. It is also important to remember that self -care is a process, and while your first activity may not be the best you can try new activities all of the time until you find the one that works best for you.
Once you figure out what your activity is, the next step is to figure out how long you need to do the activity in order to take you from a heightened or stressed state to a calm or relaxed one. Depending on the activity and the time that you have available for self -care, this can be anything from 10 minutes to an hour, its really all dependent on you and your lifestyle.
3. To schedule or not to schedule
Once you know what your self - care activity or activities are, the next step is to decide on if this is the time you should schedule or not. Is self-care something you have to put into your planner or not? Or does your schedule allow for impromptu when your ready or when you need it self care?
With these tips, you can be well on your way to figuring out a self-care plan for yourself. Also, consider the way in which you may need more than one self-care activity as some days take more out of you then others do. Maybe you even have to have different activities for different days or different experiences.
Remember your self-care plan is unique, it's for you, and it's about you and what makes you feel good, whole, and complete.