Written by therapist Sarah Heinss
We’re living in the “self-care” generation. This phrase flies around all over the internet with pictures of influencers in bubble baths or celebrities promoting expensive essential oil diffusers, and yet, when I ask my clients how they can be kind to themselves that week, they often respond with, “I wouldn’t know where to begin.”
We are detached from ourselves
Self-care is hard when you don’t know how you are feeling or what you need. You might have grown up in a family that sent the message to, “toughen up,” or, “stop thinking about yourself.” You might be going through a really hard season, where grief has taken the front seat, and can barely remember how to look up from the fog.
Self-Care made easy
Thankfully, self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s simply a conscious choice to check in on your mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual well-being. And all you need is one minute. Set a timer for one minute every hour. When that timer goes off, that is the cue that you take one minute to check in with yourself in one of the following categories; whichever one you need most.
How am I feeling in my body?
Are you feeling tight anywhere? Your shoulders, neck, jaw, stomach, or hips? Are you hungry or thirsty? At this point, get a snack, drink a glass of water, make some tea, stand up and stretch, use the restroom, or anything else your body needs.
What am I saying to myself?
How are you talking to yourself about yourself, the day, the task at hand? Take a moment to reframe. Instead of, “I can’t do this,” or, “I’ll never be good enough,” say, “This is really hard, but you’re doing your best and that’s enough for right now.” This is your opportunity to jot down a line or two of your negative self-talk. Don’t judge yourself, just notice your thoughts and jot down a line or spend one minute focusing on your breath.
How am I feeling?
Do you feel lonely? Hopeless? Sad? Stressed? At this point, text a close friend, cry for one minute in the safety of a bathroom stall if you’re at work, think of one relaxing thing you can do later in the evening or a fun plan for the future.
What is my physical space like?
Would you feel refreshed if you cleared some clutter? Take a moment to notice sounds, smells, sensations, and colors. Now take a moment to put on cozy socks, play some music, or light a candle. If you’re at work, something as simple as wearing headphones or opening a window can be mindful self-care.
Depending on how you answered these questions directs how you can tend to yourself. How can you be kind to yourself today?
If you are reading this and feeling like you don’t know the first thing about how to take care of yourself, I’d love to connect with you and support you on your journey to wellness. Give me a call today to ask questions, inquire on availability, or schedule an appointment.