Most of us know how important self-care is to our physical, emotional and mental health. Then why are so few of us good at actually doing it (unless we’re a cat?)
Is it because we’re conditioned to think that it’s selfish to put ourselves first? The reality is that unless you make taking care of yourself a priority, you won’t have anything left to give to those around you. It’s like the oxygen mask on an airplane analogy: you’re supposed to put your own mask on before you help others.
Perhaps it’s because we think of self-care as something that requires either a lot of time, or a lot of money. But self-care doesn’t have to involve a day at the spa, it can be something as simple as taking two minutes away from your desk several times a day.
Today, I’d like to offer some simple suggestions to take better care of yourself, divided into physical and mental/emotional self-care.
- Do something that makes you happy. It may be as simple as putting fresh flowers on your desk, or wearing an outfit that makes you feel really good about yourself.
- Stretch. Even just a few minutes of stretching will make you feel refreshed.
- Get up and go for a 5 minute walk in your backyard, or around your office building.
- Eat wholesome, healthy foods, but don’t deny yourself special treats now and then.
- Pet your cats!
- Schedule time for yourself into your busy day and do something that feeds your soul. Whether it’s reading, journaling, coloring, as long as it’s not an item on your to do list, it counts.
- Take a nap. Better yet, take a nap with your cats!
- Meditate. Even a 5 minute meditation can make a big difference. Better yet: meditate with your cat!
- Learn something new.
I can’t imagine that cats have a problem with self-care – they’re all about doing what feels good in any given moment. And granted, cats don’t have to do lists beyond “today I’m going to catch the red dot,” but I think we can still take a cue from them when it comes to learning how to put ourselves first.
What one thing will you do today to start taking better care of yourself?