By: Tamara Saslove, P.H.Ec.
It’s easy to get caught up with work, school, friends and family in the daily grind, and sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. If we aren’t taking care of ourselves, it becomes difficult to keep positive, stay healthy and focused.
Self-care is something that we hear about again and again and it seems to have been a trending topic in 2017. As much as we have heard about it, are we really taking the time to take care of ourselves on a daily, or even weekly basis?
Self-care is not a selfish act. It is important to put yourself first from time to time and while sometimes it seems as though it is difficult to find the time, it is an essential practice that should become a part of our routine, even if for just 10 minutes per day.
In the winter months, when it’s cold and dark out, it is easy to become run down, and the act of self-care is one way to show yourself that you are putting yourself first in an attempt to clear your mind and have some time to yourself.
I had always thought of myself as a needy person in the sense that I did not enjoy time alone. I enjoyed being around people and socializing ALL OF THE TIME. I was content living this way… or so I thought. A couple of summers ago, my partner moved away for 3 months and I was left living in our apartment alone. At the time, I thought I would really dislike living alone, and that I would be bored and lonely.
After the first couple of weeks, I realized that I never really had much time to myself before. I lived with my family, and then roommates and then my partner, so people were always around me and I was very rarely left alone to my thoughts. I had never really sought out time for myself, so I never had any.
That summer was one of the best summers of my life. I didn’t have to think about anyone except myself. I could sit on the couch and read a book for hours without being disturbed, I could blast music and dance and sing, I could wake up and do yoga without worrying about waking other people up. I realized how great it was to have so much extra time to myself to do the things that make me feel good about myself, even if that meant sitting on the couch and doing nothing at all.
Although it was just for 3 months that I had all of this extra time to myself, and my life has since gone back to normal, I now am able to cherish the time that I do have to myself and it really made me realize how much I needed that on a daily basis to be my best self. Of course, not everyone has the opportunity or desire to live alone. However, I do believe that if you take a minimum of 10 minutes out of your day to worry about no one except yourself and in that time do something that makes you feel great, it can have a significant positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
Self-care can be anything from taking time at night for a hot bath, or practicing yoga or meditation before the day begins, taking a walk after dinner, reading a book, sitting at home doing nothing, getting a solid 8 hours of sleep every night and the list goes on. Whatever it is that makes you feel calm, relaxed and happy should not be put off and should be done on a daily basis to show yourself that you care and are putting yourself first.
Do you practice self-care, and if so, what do you do? Comment below!
The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulating body of professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.