I was listening to the radio today and the song Stompa by Serena Ryder started playing. While listening, I couldn’t help but reflect about how true some of the lyrics are. We spend a lot of our time doing work, cleaning our houses, taking care of tasks. Though these tasks are required, they are often to the detriment of our own sanity and health. What I mean by this is that we forget to do the fun things, to take care of ourselves, to engage in the “dreaded” self-care.
Self-care is a buzz word of late it seems, often told to you by friends, family members, therapists. They push that this is something you should be engaging in. I wonder though, do you even know what your own self-care strategies are? I have found in working with people that this is a large struggle. When I ask them what they enjoy doing or do for fun it is often a difficult question to answer. So here are some things to think about that might help spur some ideas for you.
What did you love doing as a kid or teenager that you haven’t done for a long time?
What used to relax you?
Have you ever watched/talked to someone and thought “I would love to do that”?
If you had a full day free with no commitments, what would you want to do? (Watching
television and Facebook is out of the question).
What is the smallest thing you could do for yourself?
If you can come up with some answers to these questions then I pose to you, why not? Why not try the things you want to do. I find people have two answers to this. One, they feel they are selfish in taking time for themselves and two they feel they do not have time. For the first point I like to remind people that in order to take care of others in a healthy way, you need to be healthy yourself. If you set aside even an hour a day for yourself will that really end the world and classify you as selfish? Or does that say you understand that you too need to heal and have healthy boundaries.
To the second point, of not having time: Most of these activities you will find don’t even take that much time. If we cut out the time that is often wasted watching television and being absorbed by Facebook (typically activities we do to avoid feeling bad/worried/etc.) we often have more time to do the things we like. By doing these things, often they counterbalance the negative thoughts we experience and the anxiety we are facing to bring us to a neutral or more positive state.
I would invite you to watch this YouTube video about time, it can be thought provoking and a bit scary. Maybe it will make you decide that you are worth taking time aside to do something you want to do that is healthy. This is an invitation to let the dishes sit in the sink for one more night and record the television show you’re engrossed by and watch it for another night. Tonight, do something for yourself.