15 Ways to Attend to Self-Care

Self-care is certainly not a new topic of discussion. However, I think checking in from time-to-time about how we are managing our self-care is important. I often discuss with clients ways they are attending to care of self and work with them to identify ways in which they can nurture themselves. Sometimes there is confusion that self-care is equal to narcissism. Let me make this very clear: Self-care is not narcissistic! Narcissists have little regard for the feelings of others. People who struggle with caring for themselves are usually not those who lack care and concern for others. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. They are very concerned about the feelings and care of others to the exclusion of taking care of themselves. Men and women both struggle with taking the time to care for self. As a counselor who works primarily with women and their emotional health, I know that women often take on the responsibility to be sure all is well with their children, families, partners, and careers and leave little time for themselves.

What are some ways to implement self-care? Here is a basic, short list of things you might consider as you plan to take care of yourself.  If you are already attending to some of the items on the list, give yourself credit for that! You might want to try a new way of self-care, as well. If you find self-care difficult, pick one or two items and try it out to see how it feels. And always remember that taking care of yourself means that you are also being good to those you care about and who care about you. Make self-care a priority!

Physical Self-Care
    1.       Healthy Diet
    2.       Regular Exercise
    3.       Sufficient Sleep
    4.       Medical Care (regular check-ups, medication compliance, being proactive about healthconcerns,  etc.)

Emotional Self-Care
    5.       Counseling
    6.       Journaling
    7.       Meditation, mindfulness, or relaxation practices
    8.       Solitude

Fun and Leisure as Self-Care
    9.       Sports and Hobbies
   10.      Date Night with Partner
   11.      Night Out or Trips with Friends

Self-Care in Relationships
   12.      Supportive relationships with friends and family
   13.      Setting boundaries or limits – (It’s OK to say “no!”)

Other Ways to Attend to Self Care
    14.     Technology breaks
    15.     Use your calendar to schedule and prioritize self-care activities