Have you heard social media, blogs, and the news emphasize the importance of self-care? During this time of isolation and social distancing, self-care is crucial. Imagine you have two cups of water: one is full, and one is empty. Of the two, which will nourish someone? The full cup will nourish and support someone else. Until it’s filled again, the empty one is less effective.
Taking care of yourself is like those cups. When you are full and recharged, your work will have a more significant impact because you feel good. You being at your best is vital to the support of a beloved survivor. Without the energy and proper frame of mind, your hard work will not be sufficient.
Signs Of Poor Self-care
You could go along with your days, weeks, and years without noticing overt signs of stress or struggle. Are you paying attention to the subtle signs of stress and poor self-care? As individuals, it is easier to notice fatigue and stress in others before we look at ourselves. What are the subtle signs? Subtle signs of poor or no self-care include:
Making Small Mistakes
Do you notice yourself making small, silly mistakes? Do you think to yourself: what in the world was that? Making stupid mistakes is a sign that your self-care is lacking.
The inability to concentrate, make decisions, and finish tasks are standard with poor self-care. Remember the purpose of self-care is to ensure you recharge.
Harsh Inner Critic
Is your inner critic on your case again? Do you hear the nagging voice telling you aren’t good enough? If this is happening, take a look at your self-care routine. Are you taking care of yourself too, or are you taking care of everyone else instead?
Dropped the “F-bomb” for the fifth time in 15 minutes? If this is unusual for you, you could be stressed. Finding little things making you angry or irking you is a reason to stop and look at your routine. Often little annoyances can explode when we are stressed and not practicing proper self-care. Take time to notice your attitude and feelings. Take stock of why you feel the way you do, and ask if the response is appropriate.
Does everything seem like a problem to you? Stuff that would typically roll off your back suddenly becomes a significant issue you no longer feel capable of dealing with. Take it as a sign to take a break.
Tips for Self-Care
Why would you practice good self-care when you don’t have time? How do you justify taking time for you when the world is screaming that you don’t matter? Society is especially harsh if a person cannot handle the stress and needs a break. Running on empty isn’t expected of you. Even on a road trip, you need to stop and put gas in the care, right?
Remember that self-care is an activity we deliberately plan and engage in to care for our emotional, mental, and physical self. A key idea to remember is: refuel, not drain.
Keys to a Balanced Life
To have a balanced life, you need to practice good self-care. Without it, you are spinning your wheels and not moving. How helpful is that pattern?
Basics are best
Through trial and error, you will find your ebb and flow. In the meantime, try the necessary activities that you enjoy. Pay attention to what activities leave you feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to tackle the world.
Active Planning is Necessary
You cannot expect that self-care will happen spontaneously. Planning your self-care time will give you an idea of how you fit these activities into your life. Without a plan, the chance of success narrows.
Label Your Activity
What activity is your life source? Do you relax when you read? How about knitting? Does running recharge you? Think of these activities that you enjoy. Label them as self-care. Once you do that, your perception and acceptance of these activities will shift. No longer will you feel guilty of doing them, but you will understand the necessity of the activities. Perhaps labeling the activities seems silly, but when you acknowledge their value, you will see changes.
Eliminating the Stressors
Implement strategies to keep you aware of yourself. Ask yourself relevant questions to see if something is benefiting you. While it is impossible to eliminate each stressor from our lives, it is possible to control our self-care activities and decrease the number of activities that cause undue stress and harm.
Self-care is vital for a healthy life, but it is especially important during these uncertain, stressful times. Helping survivors of sexual and domestic violence starts with you taking care of yourself. Join us this week in learning new, effective ways for self-care. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook.