We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about self-care. I’ve seen it discussed by the likes of The Huffington Post as well as our friends at GenTwenty (which devotes an entire, highly informative section to it).
Why? Well, some would say it directly correlates with our recent Presidential election. Additionally, with greater awareness of mental illnesses, more voices are recognizing the importance of self-care.
All of that said, we couldn’t ignore the need for us to discuss self-care any longer. Here are some of the tried and true methods that work for us.
Growing up in a household where two out of the four people are confined to wheelchairs, you tend to learn quickly to put others before yourself. I am the first to admit I’m not good at self-care, and I do tend to not make time for it like I should. How did I figure out a way to change this, though? I try and take a couple vacations a year. That’s right, I need to get away from everything and be in my happy place — on the beach, with no wifi, with no care in the world. This is how I rejuvenate myself, finally am able to relax, and come back to real life with a fresh new perspective.
Now I know that this is not feasible for everyone. But what’s your happy place? Is it simply laying in bed with a good book? Eating a bowl of ice cream while watching your guilty pleasure? Going for a walk and getting fresh air? Figure out what activity makes you happy — preferably one that gets you away from real life for a while — and go for it. – Michelle
I’ll admit — I’m not particularly good at self-care, and as a Highly Sensitive Person, I truly shouldn’t avoid it as much as I do. But when I do make time for it (or when I have no choice but to make time for it — part of the HSP life is emotional and sensory overload) I have a few favorite activities that help me get out of my own head. Of course, writing — for #NAMB and just for my eyes only — is my first, somewhat obvious, go-to activity. I also have a somewhat secret passion for crafting (ironic because I can’t even draw a straight line with a ruler), especially collaging, scrapbooking, anything that has to do with photos and making homemade greeting cards. Photos are good reminders of just how many people in my life are always there to support me. – Mary Grace
First thing’s first: A regular sleep schedule. You laugh! But sleep is our most vital pastime! It helps us to organize our thoughts and keeps us feeling well. Haven’t you noticed how grumpy and sometimes irrational and sick you feel when you are low on sleep and coffee? Keeping a regular sleep schedule can help make you feel more productive and make the most of your nights and days. So, limit your caffeine intake after dinner, try not to snack too late, shut your phone off at least an hour before bedtime and get some shut eye.
Pamper yourself! I am the queen of showers! I love feeling fresh and clean but I also love being warm and having a place that is quiet and relaxing to collect my thoughts. I seem to come up with the best ideas in the shower! Take 20 minutes to yourself to paint your nails, do your makeup, take a bath, dress up to the nines, cook yourself a favorite meal (one that reminds you of college, or even a Thanksgiving favorite) or an indulgent treat (holiday throwbacks are perfectly acceptable)…whatever makes you feel good about yourself! – Kerrin
Let go of the drama! As painful as any separation might be, toxic people have no place in your life! You do not need someone who lies, puts you down or uses you. Life is too short and we millennials are busy enough without the added stress of people who treat us poorly.
Have a hobby. We all need our (healthy) outlets! When we are working hard to achieve our dreams it is important to remember to do the things we enjoy! Whether it’s hiking or heaving heavy stuff at the gym, reading a book or both mine and Kerrin’s favorite hobby — writing. You can journal about your day, wax poetic, write creepy stories about the patients you took care of (as Kerrin did). You can play an instrument, or listen to boy bands (also Kerrin) or volunteer to better yourself and your community. – Kristin