Self-care might seem like another buzzword, but burnout is becoming the new normal, making self-care all the more important. So we believe that Self-care should be the regular and intentional process of devoting yourself to protecting and sustaining your mental health. This concept of intentional Self Care is backed by science and not just feel-good sentiments.
Later, we have been experiencing a global mental health crisis, and burnout has become an occupational risk for most people. Mounting pressure to do and be more at work and at home is creating a situation that creates exhaustion, overstimulation, and angst.
Respite, rest, and time off to just relax and be yourself can seem like a luxury. Self-care can feel self-serving, or seem like it is unlikely to make an impact, but we urge you to give it a chance. You’ll find that self-care is not selfish and can make a real difference for your mental health.
Give The Best Hours Of Your Day To Yourself
Map out your typical day, from the time you get up until bedtime. You likely spend about eight hours sleeping, but do you do with the rest of the time? Write down the time your spend preparing meals, going to work, running errands, watching television, caring for children, doing laundry and so on.
Next, what one or two hour period in each day do you feel your best? When you are most energetic? Your most productive? Look at your list. Who is getting those hours right now? Try to give that time to yourself instead.
Giving yourself the best part of your day doesn’t mean taking a break from life. It means focusing on your priorities, rather than somebody else’s. You can use this hour or two for anything that you want, like a hobby, a work project you feel passionate about, time with your kids, or to volunteer. Give yourself time to focus on your personal goals and values every day, which is the ultimate form of self-care.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Self-care is important for preventing burnout. We’re all under a lot of pressure to succeed, and it can be easy to let work or other responsibilities take over, without taking time for ourselves. If burnout happens, this can have a real impact on your mental health and can take a lot of work to put right. Prevention is better than care when it comes to self-care and burnout.
Prevention could look like whatever works for you. It could be actually using your vacation days so you get a break. It could be hiring a babysitter so you can have some alone time with your spouse. It could be cutting back on the overtime you work so you can see your children in the evening.
Post-Pandemic, Let’s Get Back To Planning How To Maximize Your Life
The pandemic has caused many of us to reevaluate our lives and to reconsider what is important. Now that we feel safer doin things, we can start to think about how we can best maximize our lives. For instance, think about what you missed most during the pandemic. Was it seeing friends and family, spending time outdoors, going to the gym, or something else? Whatever it was, make it a priority in your life now and plan your schedule to maximize your ability to make time for this valuable thing you were missing!
Self-Care Starts With Giving Yourself Permission
A lot of us are uncomfortable with the idea of taking time for ourselves. We are used to taking care of everyone else and it’s a big shift to actually focus on yourself. It can feel wrong. This can show that you have a strong sense of values and pride in doing things for others, but it can also be a sign of a deeper martyr complex or sense of unworthiness. When you give yourself permission and understand that you are worth your own investment, you are more likely to make the most of the benefits of self-care. You need to give yourself permission to take care of yourself and make sure you are taking break rituals every day. You are definitely worth it
Self-care isn’t selfish and it isn’t superficial. It’s not just about taking the time out for yourself to get your hair cut or get a manicure or taking days to treat yourself. It is also about protecting your mental health in a sustainable way. There is no one size fits all approach to self-care, but the research that scientists are doing can give us some ideas about what can help to sustain us. Lifestyle medicine, regular breaks, and our relationships are all factors that protect our mental health and help to build resilience. Prevention is less expensive than repair so please take some time to try this and see what the positive effects of self-care might be for your health!
Counseling in Lakewood & Longmont Colorado
If you need help making the most of your life we are here for you. We invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation with a marriage specialist. You can find more information about our Therapy services by clicking this link.
Self Care Impact Counseling envisions a new age of counseling for adolescents, adults, couples & groups that makes a REAL difference with core values of GROWTH | BALANCE | COMPASSION | INNER HARMONY.