Oh…the Importance of Self Care

1 Nov

As I write this post, I am sick in bed with a cold. The trouble with trying to be superwoman all the time is that at some point your body isn’t down for the ride anymore. This is yet another reminder of the importance of self care, especially for someone in a giving profession. When you’re done sharing your love with others, make sure to leave a little for yourself. Be selfish and take care of yourself. By taking care of you, you will be better able to help others like the youth you are serving.

TOP 10 Self Care Tips:

10. PHYSICAL HEALTH – The first step to mental and emotional health is a strong and healthy physical body. You’ve only got one body so keep it healthy by eating right and getting enough sleep.

9. EXERCISE – Exercising regularly contributes to a happier mood and stronger immune system, meaning you won’t get sick as often. Plus it makes you feel confident, so it’s a win win. (…this reminds me to go the gym and use that gym membership I signed up for.)

8. BREATHE – With all your deadlines and stress at both work and home, make sure you just take a moment and breathe. Even if it is just for 5 minutes.

7. MASSAGE/YOGA/MEDITATION – Try doing activities that make you feel physically and spiritually relaxed. Pay for a 30 minute massage instead of a nice dinner. The effects of the massage will last longer than the dinner. Also, try meditation and yoga. You may find a new hobby in it.

6. HOT BATH/SHOWER – Take some time to pamper yourself and feel good. Sometimes nothing helps me better than a hot shower. It clears my mind, helps focus me, and reminds me to not sweat the small things.

5. MUSIC – Scientific studies have proven the positive impact of music on our emotional well-being. Having a bad day? Listen to some of your favorite music or song and see how it can elevate your mood.

4. HOBBIES AND QUIET TIME – Carve out time in your busy schedule to do things you love. Do some drawing, try making a new recipe, or read that book that’s been on your list for months. Unplug yourself from all the distractions – log off Facebook, Twitter, silence your cell phone, and stop thinking about your blog…guilty as charged!

3. TALK TO A FRIEND – As human beings, we need our social needs fulfilled just as much as our emotional, mental, and physical needs. Catch up with an old friend. Call up your best friend and vent. It will help focus you on joy, lift weight off your shoulders, and hopefully some laughter will come of it.

2. SLOW DOWN – Couldn’t avoid a crazy week, then take it slower the next week. Plan a vacation or even just a day off. Slow down in particular to avoid burn out. You cannot always be going at rabbit speed; sometimes turtle speed is much needed. Slow and steady wins the race for a reason…because you’re not burned out.

1. REEVALUATE – At the end of it all, make sure you check in with yourself about your own limits and priorities. Should I really be going to three community meetings or events a week on top of my 40 hour schedule? Your body is trying to tell you something – slow down. Make sure that you have your priorities (like your physical and emotional well-being first) before anything else. Know your limits and readjust them as needed.

Now that this is all said and done, perhaps the hardest part is to follow through and hold yourself accountable to none other than youself. There is a great worksheet from the Social Worker Tech Blog, which has an excellent print out you can do. You could even do this with your youth, coworkers, significant other, and friends. I’ll be filling out mine tomorrow and it will go front and center above my desk at the office. It will serve as a reminder to not always try being superwoman. Here’s the worksheet:

What are your top tips for self care? Comment on them below.


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One Response to “Oh…the Importance of Self Care”


  1. The Consequences of Being Sick at a Small Nonprofit « Being the Change - March 23, 2012

    […] for that matter. Speaking of trying to be superwoman, I think I should refer to my old post, Oh…the Importance of Self Care for some reminders. Perhaps the biggest downer of being sick other than the obvious (I feel like […]

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