Self-care has become one of the most frequently used buzzwords of the past year. But what does it mean? How do you actually practice caring for yourself and keep yourself and your family safe? And get your job done? And groceries purchased and prepared? Where is the time? Where do we begin?
As it is, I’ve just sent my wife and child to the ‘big pool,’ so I could have a few moments in this house when it is quiet, I’m not working, fielding calls, on Zoom meetings, and the like. I may or may not have a glass of wine when I’m done writing this.
Start where you are with what you have. For me, self-care can be as simple as stepping away from my computer, sitting in the sun and getting a few minutes of vitamin D, a quick walk around the neighborhood or guided meditation.
Here are a few ideas to get your self-care in, too:
Coffee with a girlfriend, an outdoor intimate (read: small) dinner party (Yes, order in, plate it yourself and call it a day!), even a good FaceTime session.
If you are a believer of any sort, the community you have at your chosen site of worship can be incredibly important. And if you don’t subscribe to any formal higher power, feeling connected to similarly-minded people, the earth, etc. is equally helpful. For me, this is anything that puts my own existence in this world in perspective. I am but one of 7.9 billion humans sharing this planet. One person who enjoys the ocean, an ocean filled with over 200,000 species of animals that we know of.
A good haircut has always been a big one for me. Taking time to invest in my appearance, vain as it may be, helps. And it doesn’t hurt that someone washes my hair, brushes it for a bit, and I get to do nothing. Massage, facials, cryotherapy, floatation therapy, psychotherapy (I love a good therapist!), exercise… but just a few of the ways to take some time for yourself. And don’t underestimate the power of journaling.
Might you have something someone else may need? Get rid of it. See a need? Fill it.
My very specific, super-personalized way of destressing quickly when I only have a few minutes and get desperate: I look at photos of cabins. Confession, I have a whole Pinterest board of pieces of cabins I’d make my own. No one can go there except me (and sometimes my dog). Picturing the place I’d build and go for my quiet time is relaxing for me and finding actual visuals of things that I’d put there gives me respite.
Let’s be honest, sometimes there is nothing more soul-nourishing than a quick drive, sunroof and windows open, favorite tunes blasting, singing at the top of your lungs. Also, the Calm app… she’s a favorite of mine. I got our daughter in on that action with sleep stories when she was a babe. During the day I can do a quick ‘reducing anxiety’ meditation, and it can reframe my mind.
Movies and television. Listening to a podcast or audiobook. Ted Lasso is my newest feel-good obsession, and I recommend it highly.
Caring for our family starts with caring for ourselves. I hope to set a good example for my daughter to follow. I hope you all will take some time to care for yourselves today.