The dictionary defines self care as “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health [or] the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”
Self Care is something I work really hard on. A lot of the things that used to make me happy don’t anymore. I also find that when I’m in my own head or getting down on myself, I don’t have Logan to make me feel better. He was the one person who knew when I was having a bad day and knew how just to cheer me up. But now I have to really focus on myself and choose how to make my day better.
“Self care means knowing who you are and your limits. Self care means recognizing when you are doing more than you are used to handling and trying to figure out what can be done to slow down.” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/skinny-revisited/201805/self-care-101)
I try to do something once a day that makes me happy and at least one thing a week to create time for myself away from everything. Here is a list of things I use and some other things that could be helpful for you if you need some help with self care. Just remember that too much self care can be dangerous too, if your self care is shopping and you’re spending an exorbitant amount of money.
1. Write down your thoughts. Journaling/blogging has been a really healthy way for me to deal with pent up feelings.
2. Take a home spa. Have a long bath or shower, sit around in your bathrobe, and read magazines. I take a bath at least once a week.
3. Pet a fluffy animal. It has been scientifically proven and stroking a pet can reduce anxiety.
4. Splurge a little. Buy a small something for yourself as a way of valuing yourself.
5. Check in with your emotions. Sit quietly and just name without judgment what you’re feeling.
6. Help someone. Carry a bag, open a door, pay for the person behind you in line. Spreading kindness and helping others is a positive thing to praise yourself for.
7. Take yourself out on a date. Spend an hour alone doing something to build your self-reliance (going to a movie, enjoying a walk and a coffee, visiting a museum or gallery, etc.)
8. Use your commute for a “Beauty Scavenger Hunt.” Find five unexpected beautiful things on your way to work. I like to count butterflies in the summer.
9. Plan a two-day holiday for next weekend. Turn off your phone, tell people you’ll be away, and then do something new in your own town or catch up with a friend and do something fun.
10. Exercise. Go for a walk, hit the gym, or take a new class (endorphins makes your brain and body feel happy).
11. Buy yourself a diffuser. Diffusers diffuse water vapour and essential oils to heal your mind and body.
12. Imagine you’re your best friend. If you were, what would you tell yourself right now? I try to think of what Logan would say to me, it really helps.
13. Try something you’ve always wanted to do – pottery class, sensory deprivation tank, a hike, baking something.
14. Make a list – keep yourself stress free by making a list of the things you need to accomplish for the week or goasl and things you have accomplished or are proud of yourself for.
15. Ask for help – if you truly need help, people will surprise you, you just have to ask.
Self care is also making sure you are getting enough sleep and eating properly. I’m on my own self journey to love myself as much as Logan does. If I can learn to love and accept myself, then this grief journey will get a little easier.