The Act of Caring for Yourself
Updated: Dec 14, 2021
As discussed in the last blog, self-care is about doing what you enjoy, but it is also about doing what is good for you.
The meaning of self-care is simply caring for ourselves. This may seem easy but it is often hard for us to do. Caring for others usually comes easier than caring for ourselves. Caring is an act of paying attention to, nurturing and protecting. The opposite of caring is to ignore, neglect, and disregard. Not caring can even go so far as to hurt, injure, dislike and even hate. This is not the kind of relationship we want to have with ourselves is it?
Taking care of yourself is about many things. Eating well, getting enough rest, exercising and caring for our hygiene. These are things many of us do every day. But to truly make these an act of self-care we need to have these be the first things on our list and not the last. It isn’t about doing things if we have the time, rather it’s about valuing ourselves enough to make the time for all of these things.
When we care for ourselves consistency is more important than duration. To do a little bit each day is better than telling ourselves that we’re going to walk for an hour each day and then realize this is too big of a goal. But saying I’m going to walk for 5, 10 or 15 minutes a day is doable. Working toward consistency rather than duration sets us up for success rather than failure. And part of self-care is being realistic with ourselves.
Here are a few simple ideas on how to make realistic goals that will help you stay consistent.
Eat a salad or other healthy meal three times a week.
Walk or do yoga for 10 or 15 minutes once or twice a day.
Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.
Plan to go to bed at the same time each day.
Simply work toward one thing at a time. Trying to do too many things at once can lead to overwhelm and that can result in failure. Self-care is doing the things we know are good for us, but it is also about doing these things in a realistic and manageable way. Self-care is a marathon and not a sprint. Consistency over time is the best way to achieve self-care in all areas of our life.