How was week one of the self-care series? Was it a challenge to focus on your physical self-care for the week? Sometimes, it can be difficult to find the motivation to engage in self-care activities because there is always something else that needs your attention. However, it is important to remember that in order to be your best self in all situations, you need to schedule in time to take care of you, too.
Often, we get caught up in what we need to do for others -- at work, at home, at school, in our families, in our relationships, you name it. We often put ourselves at the bottom of the list. Why is that? What makes us less important than everybody and everything else in our worlds? This week, I challenge you to put yourself first by focusing on your psychological self-care.
See the list below, borrowed from the self-care inventory published by NAMI (National Association of Mental Illness), and choose a few things to focus on this week:
1. Make time for self-reflection
2. Engage in personal psychotherapy
3. Write in a journal
4. Read literature that is unrelated to work
5. Do something in which you are not an expert or in charge
6. Cope with stress in personal and/or work life
7. Notice inner experience (e.g. listen to and recognize thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings)
8. Provide others with different aspects of self (e.g. communicate needs and wants)
9. Try new things
10. Practice receiving from others
11. Improve ability to say "no" to extra responsibilities
How often are you doing these things currently? Were you surprised by anything on this list? What would you add to the list? I find that a lot of people struggle with setting limits and maintaining boundaries, so I suspect number 11 will be a challenge for many people. Keep in mind that focusing on ourselves is not necessarily a bad thing. There is a difference between being selfish and self-centered. Sometimes we need to be selfish to be of service to others. You can't pour from an empty cup! I know that I, for one, cannot provide the most effective therapy if I'm not taking care of myself, so psychological self-care is huge for me.
I challenge you to join me on this self-care journey and share your progress with the world on social media using the hashtag #selfcareseries. I love to see what you are doing from these lists! Follow me on Instagram (@uncharted_territory_counseling) or Facebook (@unchARTedTerritoryCounseling) for updates on what I'm doing to focus on my psychological self-care this week.
Ready to schedule your first session? Please contact me to discuss treatment options, fees, and insurance coverage.