Striking the right balance of self-care is a highly fluid yet attainable practice, unique to every person. It requires increased attention and flexibility so that you can make small tweaks and changes as needed.
Self-care should not be mistaken for self-indulgence or selfishness, it is a basic human need, necessary to maintain our own physical and emotional well-being and that of others; it helps combat feelings of depletion and emptiness, and enables us to be better role models to those we care for. The idea is to start small; little additions can have a great impact.
One example of self-care is to take a fifteen minute mental break every day, either by walking or sitting in a calm area. During that time, it is important to regroup; you may choose to start with a few deep breaths. Check-in with yourself; think about how your day is going and determine whether you are feeling satisfied. If you are feeling accomplished, take time to internalize the good feelings; if you are feeling pessimistic, take a few moments to understand where those feelings are coming from and allow yourself to experience your emotions so that you may validate them. Then, make the choice to shift your behaviors and intentions, it is within your control. Commit to ending the day on a positive note.
Taking time to pause and connect with yourself, an act of self-care, can help build confidence, increase self-efficacy skills, and bring some calm to a busy day.
Ariela Bellin, Psy.D.