Oxford dictionary defines self-care as "The practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress." That last part is what draws my interest. "Particularly during periods of stress." That's why you practice self-care and make it a habit. So that it's there for you when you need, during those particularly stressful times.
So, how do you do it? We all have those moments when life throws you for a loop. Those times when you don't even know which way is up anymore. It could because you're feeling overwhelmed at work or home. It could be that life threw you into a major crisis like the loss of loved one or your job. Or, it could even be a positive transition like a graduation, wedding, or the birth of a child. Whatever the specific circumstance, it's thrown you for a loop and now you need self-care! So, here are my 3 tips:
1. Start practicing self-care before the crisis hits. If you have the luxury to not be in the middle of a crisis right now, I want you to start practicing self-care today. Make it a habit. That way when life throws you into an unexpected situation, self-care is already part of your routine. That makes it easier for you to continue with your self-care through the stressful event. It makes you more resilient and resourceful to navigate your situation. So, for example. I've been meditating daily for the past 9 years. I started out meditating only 5 minutes a day, and now it's up to at least 20 minutes a day. It's part of my morning routine. So, over the past few years, I've been through a lot of challenging situations. And, through all of that, meditation was a consistent form of self-care that I could count on. So, tip #1: Make self-care a habit and priority before the crisis hits
2. Give yourself credit for the self-care you're already doing. I posted my Toastmasters speech about this a few weeks ago where I talked about brushing your teeth as self-care. The idea was this: Give yourself credit for the self-care you're already doing. Did you take a shower today? Great! That's self-care. Notice it, acknowledge yourself for it. When you bring attention to the self-care you're already doing, you feel better about yourself. That increases your confidence, so you're more open to finding creative solutions. Also, success builds on success. So, when you focus on the good you're already doing for yourself, you'll end up building on that. Your mind will naturally start to find other ways to practice and integrate self-care. So, tip #2: Give yourself credit for the self-care you're already doing.
3. Reach out to your community. When you're going through a crisis, it can be easy to put your head down and just do whatever you need to get through it. But, I encourage to not isolate yourself. Reach out to friends, family, community members. Chances are that someone else has gone through something similar. And you won't know unless you talk about it. No man is an island. It takes a village. These are mantras that I say often to remind myself to reach out to others. You'll get different perspectives and support. And, we all need that sometimes. So, tip #3: Reach out for support.
I hope you enjoyed these 3 tips for practicing self-care when life throws you for a loop. Now, I want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on these 3 tips? Have you tried them? Is there something else that works for you that you could share with our community? Leave a comment below and let me know!