What’s self-care look like for you?
Is it a spa day, exploring, meditating, video gaming, binging, going to the beach or something you do in private that you don’t talk about?
For those unfamiliar with the notion, the mainstream definition of self-care is; “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” But I think there’s a little more to it because sometimes it’s teaching oneself to cope with stressors. Especially ones that happen multiple times a day because sometimes it’s not action but the ability to do nothing. Nothing for the purpose of this post being sitting with the feelings/ emotions instead of running from them. When we allow ourselves to embrace the anxiety or uneasy feelings we begin to form a new outcome and resilience. Now, this doesn’t mean trying to power through it every time, but rather creating a safe space to do this.
One of the essentials for embracing uneasy stressors is creating a space to do so, one that makes us feel safe. In the beginning, this space might be a therapist office, a spot on the couch, a video call, park amongst many others.
For me, my therapist office was the foundation as I knew he wouldn’t allow things to get out of control. Not to mention, provided exercises like awareness of the breath to aid in calming me down.
That said, as time passed I was able to create this safe space by having my headphones and a quiet space. This is something I hope each of you can do by taking bits and pieces from your current safe space with you everywhere. A phenomenal way of figuring out what to carry is to think about items that allow you to feel safe. For example, headphones allow me to shut out the world and allow me to gather my thoughts. For you, it might be a particular blanket, phone app, affirmation or anything. Figuring this out allows you to create a safe space anywhere at any time to aid in dealing with the current stressor.
That said, for those who have yet to create a safe space, ask yourself what calms you down? if it’s a place, what about it makes it feel safe, ceratin sounds, the people or person, memories? Pinpointing specifics allows you to find mobile alternatives that can go with you anywhere. Alternatives that allow you to create a safe space when necessary.
Beyond this, self-care is about being willing to work on yourself even when it seems hopeless. Thus, I challenge you to create more space for yourself throughout daily life. Especially on the busiest of days because our body and mind need time to recenter. Not to mention it’s essential to deal with stressors rather than piling them up in a mental storage bin for a later or less busy date.