We spend a lot of time trying to have compassion for others but sometimes we forget about our own self care. For some reason, this can be a lot more difficult. The concept of self-care has become wildly popular lately for a good reason – the unique pressures of modern life, where we are so often made to feel we’re failing, demands an antidote. But good self-care is so much more than the facile solutions we’re often peddled in the media – taking a bath or what we spend our money on. Self care can and should be far more fundamental than that. We need to address the deep fault lines in our lives before we can move onto the trimming. So is it time to cut the self-care BS and get serious?
Address Your Issues
Self-care should never be window dressing that distracts us from deeper problems which need to be resolved. Pay attention to the possibility that you might be masking the real issue.Taking care of ourselves means understanding when there’s a possibility of heading down a self-destructive path and checking that behavior. It means going to see a trusted friend and really talking to them when you feel the pressure building. It means keeping mindful of things like drinking too much and using it as a way to try and escape problems rather than dealing with them. It means having the courage to look at solutions, such as therapy sessions or addiction treatment programs and doing what you need to do in order to move forward.
Check Your Keystone Habits
So-called keystone habits are the seemingly minor daily rituals we have that actually add up to a significant part of our lives. It’s getting back to basics – ensuring that we move more, stay hydrated, take regular screen breaks if we work at a computer all day. It’s eating a rainbow of food that is nutritious for our bodies, and practicing good sleep hygiene. These things often get overlooked because they aren’t that exciting, but they are fundamental behaviors which can have a big impact. Getting them right is going to ensure that the wheels keep running smoothly in a busy life.
Welcome Joy Back Into Your Life
When was the last time you did something to please your inner child? Often, as we get sucked into the ceaseless whirl of modern life, we simply forget to take simple pleasure in the moment – making a snow angel when the first drifts come, treating ourselves to some marshmallows in a hot chocolate or running down the street as fast as we can just for the sheer pleasure of it. Think about what some of your favorite experiences and treats were as a child. Could you revisit one of them? What’s stopping you?
Another important piece of the puzzle is to celebrate your achievements, even something minor – and certainly the major ones. Sometimes we aren’t great at patting ourselves on the back. A good way to get out of a mental slump is the simple process of listing out your achievements and seeing how far you’ve come.