Self care is a practice that helps keep us from getting overwhelmed. When we’re practicing self care, we feel rejuvenated, replenished, and relaxed. It’s something that can make such a huge positive difference in our lives, so it may seem a bit strange that there are times when we fail to follow through.
I think that we often come up with excuses to avoid taking care of ourselves, because we feel that other things are more important than our own well-being. Some people may prioritize their work, others may prioritize their relationships. Focusing on self care can be difficult when we feel like we don’t have enough time to set aside for the things that we want to do.
The Consequences of Ignoring Self Care
However, think about the consequences of ignoring self care. If you are not taking proper care of yourself, you will not be able to put forth your best efforts to achieve your goals. After all, how can you expect yourself to excel at work or in school when you only had 4 hours of sleep? And isn’t your ability to concentrate going to be compromised if you are ravenous from skipping meals?
Self Care as a Phone Battery
A simple metaphor for how self care works is a phone battery. Doing good things for yourself, like having a good night’s rest or eating a healthy snack can help you recharge. Things like drinking to excess and overbooking your schedule will alternatively drain your batteries.
So here are two things that you can do right now in under 5 minutes to help put you on the right track for your self care practice.
A Quick Breathing Exercise
- Take a deep breath and blow out slowly. Do this ten times and focus only on your breath. This is a mindfulness practice that will help ground you to your present moment. When you are focusing on the breath, you leave no room in the mind for regrets about the past or worries about the future.
Consider Your Most Pressing Needs
- Take out a pen and paper, or get out your phone or computer. Ask yourself what your most pressing needs are today and in this present moment. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, you may need to delegate some of your tasks or ask for help. If you’re feeling hungry, make sure that you have a healthy snack. If you’re feeling lonely, make plans with a friend to do something fun over the weekend.