I often talk to my clients about the topic of self-care. Many of my clients aren’t familiar with the term or how to begin applying some self-care in their busy lives. Self- care is individual for each person and it’s a good topic to explore with yourself and your therapist. So what is it exactly?

Self care means choosing behaviors that balance the effects of emotional and physical stressors: exercising, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, practicing yoga or meditation or relaxation techniques, abstaining from substance abuse, pursuing creative outlets, engaging in psychotherapy.

Also essential to self-care is learning to self-soothe or calm our physical and emotional distress. Remember your mother teaching you to blow on the scrape on your knee? This was an early lesson in self-soothing but many adults really struggle with knowing how to constructively soothe themselves.

If this sounds like something you need to cultivate in your life, I encourage you to try something from the list below and talk to your therapist more about how to incorporate these soothing and caring activities into your life.

 

“Self care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” ~Eleanor Brownn

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                                                                   Self Care Ideas:

o   Working out at the gym

o   Running with the dog

o   Cooking tasty, healthy food

o   Aromatherapy

o   Small gestures of giving to others

o   Doing nothing

o   Silence

o   Yoga

o   Singing

o   Massage

o   Listening to, and playing music

o   Watching a feel-good movie

o   Morning meditation

o   A bath with candles and music

o   Being in a library

o   Buy yourself flowers

o   Window shopping

o   Gardening

o   Playing

o   Spending time outdoors

o   Journal writing

o   Reading a good book

o   Accepting and honoring your feeling

o   Knitting and crocheting

o   Enjoying your first sip of morning coffee or tea

o   Chatting with a friend

o   Cleaning house

o   Baking

o   Aerobic exercise – biking, cross country skiing, swimming

o   Staying calm

o   Sitting by the fire

o   Good dental hygiene

o   Regular health checkups

o   Gratitude journal

o   At bedtime identify the nicest thing that’s happened that day

o   Leaving the computer off

o   Avoiding the newscast

o   Laughing and having fun

o   Inspirational reading

o   Being mindfully aware/in the moment

o   Regular meditation

o   Connect with your spiritual side

o   Hikes in the woods with the dog

o   Making photocards

o   Kayaking and sailing

o   Playing a musical instrument

o   Landscaping

o   Sleeping in

o   Pet’s unconditional love

o   Driving and road trips

o   Walking to and from work

o   Sitting in a sidewalk cafe, drinking a latte

o   Pausing to breathe

o   Time with children

o   Stomping in rain puddles or piles of leaves

o   Validating your colleagues

o   Walking in the grass in bare feet

o   Looking at clouds

o   Letting the warmth of the sun soak into your back or your face

o   Eating chocolate

o   Living with intention