Yes, It’s Okay to Take Care of You, Too! Reframing Self-Care as Self-Compassion
By Christina McKelvy, LPC, NCC, CCMHC, Owner of Colibri Counseling & Consulting, PLL
Most women struggle with self-care because we’re often told we must put others first. But when you take care of yourself, you are inadvertently improving the lives of those you love.
Here are five easy self-care activities you can do anywhere, anytime, and cheaply.
- Go for a walk. Walk just 20 minutes a day. Walk after dinner, before breakfast, on your lunch break. Walk to pick up your children. You can even break the walk up into five-minute increments throughout the day to add up to 20 minutes.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. What we put into our bodies matters. Make sure you are eating the rainbow, having a diverse amount of food. Food is energy and healing. But do not restrict yourself either, as you may overeat. If you do crave a treat, have a small bite of that treat.
- Breathe Deeply. Are you breathing correctly? When we feel anxious, we end up breathing shallowly, making our anxiety worse. Practice breathing from your diaphragm. You can do this before bed to calm your mind and body, or in the morning to center yourself. An easy breathing exercise to try is called square breathing.
Breathe in for four counts…
Hold your breath for four counts…
Breathe out for four counts…
Pause for four counts….
- Connect to your community. We all need support from others. Make sure you can identify at least one individual you connect with. Who in your social circle are you able to be authentic with? Who can you call when you need to vent? If you struggle to make connections, think about joining an organization or a religious community, or volunteering somewhere.
- Journal. Sometimes we have things we want to say but no one we want to share them with. Our innermost thoughts are precious to us and us alone. However, you may have noticed that at night before bed, your worries and concerns show up. Or they show up throughout the day. Journaling can allow you to organize your thoughts, write out your feelings, and be real with yourself with no judgment. Don’t like to write? Try and dictate your thoughts on a phone or computer.
Sometimes, I like to reframe self-care as self-compassion, taking care of yourself too, because you need it. You are worthy of self-care. You are worthy of love… from yourself.
Colibri Counseling & Consulting, PLL offers counseling services and business wellness consulting services. Learn more at www.colibricounselingconsulting.com; call 928.517.7200 or email [email protected].