This week features a guest post on Self-Care from Norine VanderHooven. Norine featured my post Finding Happiness in All Circumstances on her site recently. Self-care is important for everyone. I hope you enjoy her post and great suggestions!
Self-Care is Important!
Last week I had the pleasure and honor to provide training for people in the helping profession (therapists, school counselors, nurses,…) on Compassion Fatigue and self-care. What is Compassion Fatigue, you ask? Well, in a few words, it is when people who are always helping others become emotionally and physically exhausted. So, I’m not really going to talk about compassion fatigue, but more about the importance of self-care and why self-care is important for everyone, and not only those in the helping professions. Most people in some way care for others, even if it is not in a professional sense, and need to remember to engage in self-care. You know the saying “First put on your oxygen mask, and then you can put it on your child.” Well basically, the gist of that is that before you can take care of others (or even have compassion for others if you’re not a caregiver) you have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself first.
Caregivers need care too!
For me, I’m a wife, mother, daughter, friend, co-worker, sister, and I’m sure the list could go on. But, I think you get it that in some way, shape, or form you care for others. I’m really big into self-compassion. And again, like that oxygen mask, you have to have self-compassion before you can have compassion for others. The end result of not being able to have that compassion for others is struggling to maintain relationships with others. So, I would say that self-compassion is a form of self-care. Now how you go about self-care is a whole different story. I know many people who say they don’t have time for self-care. Sometimes this whole concept of “self-care” can be overwhelming, especially if you are feeling exhausted and wiped out! I’m here to tell you that there are so many different ways to have some “me” time, even if it’s just 10 minutes. Are you saying “10 minutes is nothing! I’m not going to feel any benefit from such a short bit of time?” I’m here to tell you that if you regularly take just 10 minutes, or less, a few times a day, you will see the cumulative effect. There are definitely times when an hour massage or facial, or a good workout is needed. Sometimes that gets into the “I don’t have time” issue. I would encourage you to try and schedule some self-care, “me” time in to your calendar. Yes, formally write it down and block out that time that you need in advance so you can feel more prepared and less stressed when that time comes.
In the meantime, here are 10 self-care ideas that you can do in 10 minutes or less!
- Sip a cup of tea in silence.
- Go to bed 10 minutes earlier and get a bit more shut eye.
- Read a book for pleasure.
- A single restorative yoga pose.
- Pet your animal
- Slather lotion on your hands and feet and let it soak in before you move.
- 10 minutes of mindfulness or meditation
- Cook a warm breakfast or make a green smoothie to go.
- Take yourself on a walk.
- Make an appointment to talk to a therapist if you are really struggling
Norine VanderHooven has been practicing in the mental health field for 30 years. Norine specializes in trauma and suicide prevention. She is in an LCSW and is in private practice in Westlake Village, California. It is an honor for Norine to be able to work alongside you while on your journey. www.norinevanderhooven.com