When we think of someone practicing self care, we often get an image of someone with a charcoal face mask on, relaxing in a bathtub, drinking herbal tea, and reading a book about “not sweating the small stuff”. Which is all great, don’t get me wrong, reader. I’d love to be soaking in a lush bath bomb and exfoliating my pores. The thing is, self care means so much more than that.
Self care is a big part of mental and physical wellness. It’s also plays a substantial role on safety, which means it’s important to make sure we practice it on a regular basis. Self care helps us stay safe because we are showing ourselves that we are worth taking care of and that our well-being is important. We can be told we’re worthy, or that our safety matters time and time again by others, but until we start telling- and showing ourselves that, it’s going to be difficult for the message to stick.
So, what exactly does self-care look like?
Of course, self care can look like an aromatherapy bath and some tea, but more commonly self care can be anything from brushing your hair, eating something, and especially taking! your! medication!
When we struggle with mental health difficulties or mental illness, seemingly simple tasks like taking care of our hygiene can be daunting and sometimes feel impossible. Things that people appear to do naturally take a great deal of energy, and that can make us feel even less worthy of care. “Why can’t I just get out of bed and shower? There must be something wrong with me since everyone else has no trouble with it.”
For those of us struggling, showing ourselves that we matter can feel like a wild goose chase. If you don’t feel like you are worth care, what would make you want to put the effort in to take care of yourself? The truth is, reader, you are worth care. You’re worth safety. You’re worth comfort. You matter.
Self care takes practice and training. If self care is an area of difficulty for you, don’t expect to wake up tomorrow and tick everything off of your To-Do list. Setting realistic expectations that are within your accessibility is its own act of self care.
Here’s a list of some self care activities that you can practice to make yourself feel more effective, and productive. Remember this is not a daily To-Do list. Try to practice ONE of the list below each day.
- Brush your teeth
- Take your medication
- Wash your face
- Remove garbage from your living space
- Pick clothes up from the floor and put them away
- Do a load of laundry
- Make yourself a meal
- Go outside for fresh air for a couple minutes
- Throw old food out of the fridge
- Ground yourself
- Set reminders of appointments in your phone
- Log your daily mood in a journal
- Find one thing each day to be grateful for
- Drink Water 🍶
Stay safe out there, reader.