Graphic by Zoë Collins (she/her)
During these, ahem, unprecedented times, it can sometimes feel hard to care about anything, let alone care about ourselves. I’m sure you’ve come across numerous self-care articles over these past few months, and I’m sure they’ve all said similar things, but I hope that this one may be a little different.
To start off, I think it is necessary to figure out what makes you feel good, what makes you feel relaxed and your best self.
For me, that means doing the dishes at night, putting them away in the morning, and finishing washing up any extras that are left over. It also means allocating some time in my day to listen to Headspace. It means planning time within my schedule to eat and actually eating during that time. Walking around for a bit each day is also something that I greatly value and, in that time, I can use Headspace, or just have some me time, or even catch up with people I haven’t talked to in a while. Zoë, who provided the photo for this article, loves to spend time walking her dogs, as seen in the photo, as a form of self care. Although these are just a few things, these things are all so important to me and help me take care of myself. Sure, each activity takes just a little time each day, but each adds up to so much greatness for myself, for the day, and for the week.
What I’m trying to show you is that the importance of self-care and what you need to do for your self-care is based on you. And although I do think that the things I do are great for all and apply to a broad range of people, I do recognize that what I do, or what may be helpful to me, may not be so for all. I think self-care is more than a list of “20 self-care items you must buy” or a list of regimented activities that must be done or else, because, again, what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you.
Being aware of what helps you feel good, what makes you do your to-dos with ease, and what makes you not grumpy at the end of the day are all things that I think are self-care. Identifying what these things are can help lead you to create your own list of what to do as self-care, or even, and I think, more beneficial in the long run, can lead to finding time in your schedule to incorporate these things that benefit you into your daily routine.
So, I end this think piece by asking a few questions: what makes you feel good? Are all your basic needs met? I know that most of my “self-care” items were largely making sure my basic needs were met, like eating and exercising. So what about you? When do you have time to spare during the day? What can you do for yourself in that spare time that makes you not only feel good in the moment, but feel good after, and feel good in days to follow?