Self-care. Gah, it’s that waaaaay over-used 21st century buzzword! WTF do we mean when we talk about about self-care, anyhow? It typically means doing things for ourselves that nurture us, make us feel good, a reversal of the golden rule, if you will. Specifically, it’s determining that we have unmet needs and that we need to meet those needs by putting ourselves first. That’s how most definitions will cast self-care – as selfish, as self-centred. I used to think of self-care as some new-age tripe, years ago. Then I encountered burnout. Now I see self-care as necessary compassion – treating myself the way I want others to treat me, (and the way I want to treat others) a manifestation of the type of self-love that demands respect. In that spirit, I’ve come up with some guidelines for myself that I want to practise and put in place for 2015… feel free to borrow and/adapt them.
- go gossip and judgement-free – don’t create it or engage it–just walk away from it
- take some solitary time everyday for you – a walk by yourself, reading a chapter or two in that book, a soak in the tub, not actually working through your break
- when you leave work, leave the politics, the irritants, all the issues and people that bug the fuck out of you, behind. take a deep breath, imagining yourself drawing all of these things into your lungs where they’ll get filtered … hold it and then slowly release, imagining all the toxic, polluting energy getting expelled through the top of your head, transformed, shadows dispelled.
- eat mindfully – not in front of the tele, or the computer, or whilst gaping at your phone, narrowly missing your mouth. pay attention, you’ll be surprised and delighted at what you’ve missed!
- take some mobile-technology-free time everyday for you – you can still remain “on” if you’re in a situation where you need to be reached at all times, but do you really need to be surfing Facebook or anything else, like, constantly? likely not. put the phone down. even for 30 minutes. or 15, if that makes you too anxious. then, do this simple exercise: watch where you walk, take notice of people crossing the street, or passing you by. you might notice a little boutique, bistro or cafe you’ve never noticed before!
- say no when you need to do – you’re not a golden retriever, you’re not bred to please people. so, just stop it already!