Self-care is putting yourself first so you can take care of other things that need to be cared for. It is like the oxygen mask on the plane. You need to put yours on first so you can help those with you and near you. Those of us who are inclined to help others are the worst people at self-care. It is very hard to put yourself first, but if you think of it as taking the first step to helping others, it puts it in a better perspective and feels less selfish. Everything on earth needs time to regenerate. Animals hibernate for the winter, plants take a rest so they can start new in the spring, leaves fall so the tree has less to take care of while it rest, and so must we. Self-care is part of that regeneration.
I recently read an article on self-care that gave several ideas for self-care. There were two that I had not thought of before. One was to have a date with yourself. Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes you, reading, your hobby, visiting museum, etc. What would you do for this hour? Think about it and then make a date, put it on your calendar.
The other item was to find five unexpected beautiful things on your way to work, or running errands, etc. Wouldn’t this be so much better than having thousands of things to do running through your brain?
Fine what make you feel regenerated. Is it meditation, quiet time with some soft music, sitting outside in the park or even in your backyard? Find whatever that “thing” is that helps you. It will be different for everyone. But think about what would you do if everything was taken care of for you. How would you spend your time?
Start small, try just five minutes a day for the first couple of weeks. Then work your way up to 15 minutes, then 30 minutes. You will find that this time gives you so much more to work with, to take care of others.