Self Care : the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health;
Sounds simple enough right? Why is it though that the most basic of self care seems to be so hard for most people? I find that we live in a society where self care means so many different things to people. Where parents think self care is going to the grocery after putting all the kids to bed, at 9 P.M., tired, hungry, BUT alone. Where people think staying up until midnight working and trudging along is self care because you’ll get to sleep until 6:15 A.M. instead of 5:45 A.M. When did this become the ‘norm’ for people? Self care means taking time and actions that help ME or YOU. It means really carving out that time for something constructive and good for you!
So. That brings me to this week. I’m currently in California visiting my mama and a friend or two. And I’m by myself. No kids, no hubby. Just so self care, relaxing, time for me. Something my husband and I decided we will do each year at least once is take a few days to ourselves for self care. Because mental health (all health) is that important. As someone living with Bipolar 1 self care is something I absolutely have to be diligent about. So while I ache to see my little ones I know that this time is good, SO good. And I know that it will help me be the best version of me. It also means that I must, even on vacation, be diligent about (yep! you guessed it!) self care. I still need to go to bed on time. I still need sleep, I still need to take my medications, I still need to work out like I normally do (mostly) and I need to be gentle with myself.
This brings me to self care at home. What does that look like for me? It looks like getting plenty of sleep every night. It means checking in with my therapist and my doctors. It means checking in with my support network. It means having some time to myself, doing what I want to do. Be it writing, reading, eating out with a girlfriend, hiking, climbing, my business and photography. It means working out regularly. It means listening to my body and my mind.
Now I ask you to challenge yourself. Are you practicing self care? In constructive way.