I had never heard of self care until I was 21. Honestly, I don’t even remember how I heard about it. From a very young age, I knew all of the tips a doctor would give: eat healthy, exercise, take your medicine if you have any, drink water, and sleep a full eight hours. I also knew that those things were damn near impossible to complete all together.
When I was in college, I took a health class where we talked about “wellness.” This was the term used for holistic health; physical, mental, social, and economic wellbeing. I was taught about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Which, in the most basic of terms, is a pyramid that explains a human being needs to fulfill their base needs before they can move up the pyramid and achieve total wellness.
After nineteen years, my knowledge of how to take care of myself had expanded with the understanding that taking care of your body was only one piece of the puzzle. However, I was left with no idea how to achieve any part of the puzzle in a realistic or effective way.
After being introduced to self care, the picture developed and I was able to recognize that there was no set path to wellness, health, happiness, whatever your goal may be. The journey is entirely up to you and it has to be.
At this point in my life I know the importance of self care but in most situations I wait until there’s a panic attack, a down swing in my bipolar II cycles, or a terrible personal circumstance. In light of this, I created a preventive self care routine to intentionally give my mind, body, and heart what they need everyday.
As I said above, there is no one size fits all when it comes to self care (or anything, really). I’d like to share my plan, as a way to offer suggestions, but also to manifest and hold myself accountable to this amazing community.
Day To Day Self Care:
Talk to Haley (my best friend who lives very far away)
Play with Luna (my cat) for one hour
Read the SLS blog and all my other favorites
Make plans with friends for later in the week
Paint my nails
Go write in the coffee shop
Clean the apartment
Draw/paint/sculpt - Art in general
Go to therapy
Call my mom
Do NOTHING after work
Cook a large breakfast
Go to the farmer’s market
Prepare lunches for the week
Take a long bath
Go to bed early
I have this routine printed out and posted in every room of my apartment (which isn’t many but they’re there). The reminder is encouraging, empowering, and insanely helpful. I have days where it doesn’t happen. I have days where I have anxiety attacks or depressive episodes. However, even in those moments, I have a plan.
I hope this was helpful you beautiful, self improving angels. May your #SelfCareSunday be everything you need and nothing you don’t.