Category Archives: Psychology

Thoughts on Self-Care

It feels to me as if the term “self-care” is being tossed around a lot these days. It’s “trending”, which I take to mean the concept will, before long, peter out. It will lose it’s meaning, it’s importance. People will tire of it, finding ways on social media to mock it and render it irrelevant. They’ll find another term to latch onto.

Ironically, I just googled “self-care” and on Merriam Webster, front and center, there is an icon of lightening next to the word “trending”. My point is thus proven. 

Before this concept is indeed no longer trending, I’d like to add my two cents about self- care. I can only speak from my own perspective of course, recognizing that many people in the world are struggling mightily to survive another day, physically and/or mentally, so finding the time and energy to even ponder what self-care means let alone practicing it eludes them. Which really is a damn shame.

Bottom line: I am grateful that I have enough quiet time to myself, along with the mental energy to both identify what self-care looks like to me and the physical and intellectual ability to regularly engage in the activities that promote it. Especially during those times, like right now, when those people near and dear to me are experiencing life challenges that are weighing on my mind and heart, causing me to feel utterly helpless. 

I think that in order to practice self-care in any sort of meaningful way, it’s necessary to define for yourself what it specifically looks like to you. However, taking the time to recognize why practicing self-care is beneficial for you should be your first task. My personal theory is that if I choose to not practice self-care, my ability to be emotionally present for my loved ones will be dwarfed. I will feel put-upon, frustrated, tired, and stressed out. By not practicing self-care, I will lessen my ability to find the silver linings in things as well as hindering my ability to be the best version of myself. By regularly practicing self-care, my chances of being effective at providing emotional support to those I love greatly increase.

Now, while I am admittedly an over-thinker, I cling firmly to the K.I.S.S. mantra (the Keep it Simple, Sister version) when it comes to what self-care looks like for me. I don’t believe any self-improvement endeavor is worth much if there are too many steps.

Let me share some of the self-care tactics that work for me. I urge you to consider what yours are and then share them with me and our blogging friends here in the comments, if you feel comfortable doing so. 

  • I keep a regular sleep schedule and make it a priority to get enough sleep (8.5 hours per night has proven to be ideal for me).
  • I listen to my Soul Song and other playlists daily as they bring me joy. I find that listening to my music each morning puts me in a positive mindset for the day ahead.
  • Regular grooming of fingernails/hands and toenails/feet. As in, at home manicures and pedicures. Taking care of my physical appearance in this way boosts my confidence as I am out and about in my day to day life. And it’s a very relaxing activity for me, especially when I’ve got my favorite tunes playing in the background.
  • I regularly make to do lists, which gives me a sense of order and purpose. This tactic calms my anxious brain and is a valuable tool that boosts my focus on my priorities for the day, or week. I also get a little kick every time I check something off on my to-do lists.
  • I  lay out my yoga mat and stretch my body and do a few strengthening and toning exercises every single morning.  I follow that up with some prayer time. Expressing gratitude and connecting with the Spirit helps me clear my head and gives me good mental energy for the day ahead of me.
  • I ignore people that only have negative things to say as much as I possibly can. You know who they are in your own life. We all do.
  • I strive to remain mindful as I go through my days. For instance, really listening  to people instead of thinking up responses to what I think they are going to say. Also, limiting the amount of times I check my cell phone throughout the day allows me opportunities to see and experience what is going on in my environment. I think it’s healthy to keep FOMO (fear of missing out) at bay.
  • I mentally pull out a phrase or mantra that speaks to me if I’m feeling stressed, such as “This too shall pass”, or “Let it Be” of course in song version because that is how my brain works. 

 

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Dreams are weird

My right eye was glued shut when I awoke. I rubbed it to release it from its captivity. My brain still fuzzy from sleep, I recalled the scenes in my head of which I had no control just moments prior.

I was going back to college. I do not know at which age I inhabited. It seemed irrelevant. Emotionally, I felt wholly unprepared. I felt panicked and confused. Classes were starting soon, and I could not recall for the life of me how close I was to graduating. Most upsetting, however, was that I had no memory whatsoever of registering for any classes.

What on earth am I going to do, my panicked brain wondered to itself, if I am in fact not signed up for any classes at all? OMG, I will have to find a minimum wage job to work until the next semester rolls around and I can resume my studies.

What can I do to prevent this from happening?

Wait, there must be a way for me to check on a computer to see if I’ve registered. Maybe it’s simpler than I thought. Now I need to find a computer….

Cut to a completely different scene. 

I’m in a large warehouse type of place. I’m disheveled. Un-showered. Smelly. Dressed like a bum. Pathetic.

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There’s a movie crew there. The star is amongst this crew. It’s Shirley McLaine. I must meet her before she has to get on the plane to another filming location. But I really have to pee. There are no bathrooms in sight. Only a bathtub filled with water. I am wearing jeans. I really have to pee. I step into the tub, fully clothed, and relieve myself.

 

I feel so much better now. There’s Shirley! She is walking towards the exit wearing a fancy outfit complete with heels (clicking and clacking on the concrete). She is wearing a large, Kentucky Derby type hat. She looks so glamorous and important. 

I will not let this opportunity pass me by. I race over to her. She turns around, startled by the sight of me fully clothed and dripping wet.

I tell her that I love her work (though I can’t recall off the top of my head what films she was even in). I tell her that despite my current situation, I was not willing to miss the opportunity to meet her in person. That I didn’t want to have any regrets.

Okay, you interpreters of dreams, have at it.