Self Care Remix: 3 Ways to Put Your Spin On Self Care
I think one of the most difficult things to do as a student, parent, teacher, or just human in general is the growth period. Gosh, it's hard, isn't it? - The time where things are changing and routines are switching up. For highly sensitive people, it can really throw you into a whirl wind. Sometimes when life switches up, we have to do a little Self Care Remix, if you will.
I know, as an educator, the quarantine period and then moving into virtual teaching really made me change up my Self Care Routine. When the kids were at home and I was still teaching, I didn't have the time I was used to in order to do the things I enjoyed.
And hey, change ain't easy! But sometimes what we've always done is no longer filling our cup or maybe it never was to begin with.
There are three main things that I teach my students throughout our school year together and it's a perfect representation of knowing "HOW to do self care" (you have no idea how many times I hear that phrase).
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1. Know who YOU are.
Every one of us is different. We have different likes, dislikes, preferences, hobbies, strengths, and weaknesses. That is what makes us individuals and why it's so important to know yourself at a core level in order to truly practice self care. You can read 100 books on different self care methods but if the author isn't connecting with your spirit, you're more than likely not going to have the same take-aways as someone else. What works for one person may not work for another. What works for the parent may not work for the student. What works for your husband may not work for you.
In my classroom, at the beginning of each semester, I have my students reflect on who they are by giving them a fun self assessment where they are able to recognize what they see as their strengths and weaknesses, their likes and dislikes, etc. We refer back to this several times throughout the semester so that students are working towards being more of the person THEY want to be. I have most of my students for the full year, but as the year progresses, I find that students may have some changes in personality as they mature. Maybe what they thought they liked was really something that a friend was interested in, or a boyfriend/girlfriend was interested in (but have since broken up).
You don't just see these changes in students either. Adults can sometimes go through changes in their lives and they need to re-evaluate or "find themselves again." I've always had a real strong pull towards self discovery and have taken every test out there on personality types. Defining your personality type can allow you to reconnect with your authenticity. Some popular free tests are Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, and I'll even go as far to say learning your astrological placements and connecting with that is a great way to recognize what resonates with you.
2. Find time.
Once you are more in tune with your authentic self, you'll have some better ideas of the things that bring you joy and relax you, as well as, the things that you should probably avoid. Now's the tricky part. We have to find time. I can hear one of my students now, "But there's only 24 hours in a day." (insert Spongebob Squarepants mocking face). Thank you, Captain Obvious.
Self Care doesn't have to be a full day event. Sure, there are times when you may treat yourself to a day of relaxation, but there are ways of intentionally setting aside 10 minutes to an hour of time for just you. And you should create a weekly routine where you block this out! Even you, moms out there. It's all about the intention - It's all about doing things that your future self will thank you for.
I'm going to focus on busy moms for a second because I understand all of the reasons we may tell ourselves we "don't have time." The truth is that we make time for that which we think is valuable. Moms (but really parents, in general) often think the kids are the most important - and by no means am I saying that they aren't, but we cannot take care of others without first taking care of ourselves. YOU are valuable. You are worthy of and deserve time for what fills your cup, too. Find ten minutes (the beginning of the day before the kids are up, at night after the kids go to sleep, naptime, in the car ride from the grocery store, or ASK FOR HELP) and do something you enjoy.
Okay, so you know what you like, you made a little bit (or a lotta bit) of time for yourself, but now the focus is reflection.
At the end of your first week, you carved out time for you and did something you enjoyed or you didn't. Ask yourself: Did this work? Did I feel a little more filled than I did without doing these things for myself? Is this something I could carve out more time and still adhere to my responsibilities? Is the thing I like just not as enjoyable as it used to be?
Life is not linear and neither is self care. Finding what works for you may take a little trial and error. That's okay. You're diving deeper into growth and learning more about YOU. If you find that you are blocked, find self care insn't improving your mood, or you are constantly wondering "Am I worth it?" it may be time to look at meeting with a therapist to get to the root of your blockages. There is no shame in therapy or for asking for help.
I am not a licensed medical professional and I do not claim to give medical advice. If these simple tips for remixing your self care routine are not working for you, it may be time to speak with a medical professional.