Finding Time for Self-Care

No matter who you are or what you do, you need to be kind to yourself. When I teach a class on research methods to my students, I incorporate a section on self-care for scholars into lesson. Audre Lorde stated, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." How true she was!

To feel prepared and vibrant for work, for school, and for life, we need to take time for ourselves before we start taking care of others. Caring for ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally can help anchor us in the present moment. This means we bring our best self to work each day. 

Integrating self-care practices into our daily routines takes purposeful planning. The bottom line is that you have to want to make wellness a high priority in your life. Self-case isn't selfish; it's selfless. We are better equipped to serve others when we have invested the time to learn how to best care for ourselves. 

Self-care practices don't have to be elaborate or expensive. Most of them are quick and free. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a nap.

  • Read a book for fun.

  • Play games, either physical or digital.

  • Meditate.

  • Do a body scan. This Mindfulness-Based Body Scan is one of my favorites.

  • Take a bath or shower.

  • Call a friend or family member.

  • Give yourself more time to complete a project or commute somewhere. Don't rush.

  • Go to bed early or sleep in.

  • Say no to something. Or a lot of things.

  • Do something sexy/sensual/sexual with yourself or a partner.

  • Drink something soothing, like Calm, Tulsi tea, or your favorite beverage.

  • Turn off all notifications. Unsubscribe and unfollow accounts that no longer serve you.

  • Take a Mental Health Day.

  • Develop a relaxing evening ritual.

  • Make a playlist to match your current mood.

  • Try 4-7-8 breathing.

  • Visit a library or bookstore.

  • Exercise.

  • Take a yoga class.

  • Take a walk.

  • Clean your desk or work area.

  • Order in or cook something new.

  • Pamper yourself with a beauty ritual.

  • End work early or start work late.

  • Light candles, burn incense, or use an essential oil diffuser.

  • Watch your favorite film.

  • Spend time with someone.

  • Pray.

  • Ask for help with something that you're struggling with.

What self-care practices do you use? I'd love to read your comments. 

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