The Art of Selfcare: Or Something Like That

Selfcare is an art form in itself.  We all try our best to treat ourselves and our bodies well, lower our stress levels and get through each day.  As the saying goes, "treat yo'self."

So what does that actually mean?

I am currently in grad school studying social work and the concept of "selfcare" is extremely important to me and my coworkers.  Selfcare means taking the time to step back and breath, not letting the work we do take over our lives and cause problems for us.  We all have our own stress and problems that come up in work, school and home life; but stepping back and knowing your limits and what rejuvenates you is very important.

I may not have as much on my plate as others, but I am currently enrolled in a dual degree graduate program, hold two separate jobs and a 24 hours/week internship as an addictions counselor.  Mentally (and physically) I am spent at the end of the week.

So, for me, selfcare is knowing that a long, hot bath will recharge my batteries.  It might even be journaling, painting or getting my pent up feelings out in some form or another.  Selfcare is knowing my own triggers at work and knowing my limits.  But even beyond that, selfcare is advocating for myself regarding those triggers and limits.

Luckily, social work can be a field where those things are respected.  I'm not saying every employer will be as thoughtful, but I can only hope.  However, selfcare can mean not going to a family event that you know will upset your week.

Selfcare can be making yourself a healthy meal instead of eating out.  It can be taking steps to improve your wellness via exercise that will release endorphins and brighten your mood. Selfcare can be saying no to a commitment because you want to sleep in an extra hour on Saturday.  All of this is better than burning yourself out doing everything that everyone else wants you to do and be.

So what's my selfcare? My resolutions for 2014 include drinking more tea, doing more yoga and traveling. These are the things that relax and energize me.  I'm also prone to paint when I am stressed out or journal -- sometimes these things are one in the same to me.  Sometimes my selfcare for the day is cleaning and organizing my belongings or budgeting.  It really all depends on my mood and what I really need to stay well that day.

What are some things you do for selfcare?  Please feel free to share them in the comment section below. 

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