Self-Care isn't Selfish
It has been a whirlwind of a semester. In the midst of all the uncertainty, it is easy to get overwhelmed and consumed with fear and worry. I wanted to share a compilation of resources and tips that have been helping me find spaces of calm and reframe my thinking in this chaotic world we live in.
First, I have found that mindfulness and meditation is a great way to start or end the day. There are vast amounts of research documenting the restorative and calming effects of focusing on the breath. The apps Calm and Headspace are both great resources for mindfulness practices!
I have been doing a lot of yoga as well! I definitely have noticed after a few weeks that I have felt stronger, more centered, and am able to translate the breathing techniques from the practice into my daily life when I am feeling anxious! Yoga with Adriene is my favorite. She has everything from 30 day challenges to quick and easy 20 minute morning practices, and her dog Benji is completely adorable.
I have been listening to Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast, and I highly recommend a few of her episodes in particular:
Brene on Strong Backs, Soft Fronts, and Wild Hearts
On My Mind: RBG, Surge Capacity, and Play as an Energy Source
Brene with Emily and Amelia Nagoski on Burnout and How to Complete the Stress Cycle
I strongly suggest reading Richard Carlson’s book “You Can Be Happy No Matter What.” It breaks down the psychology of human thought and explains how to reform our thought system to find joy and a state of calm no matter the challenges we face.
Have a headache from spending the whole day staring at a computer screen for your zoom classes? Spending time outside is such a breath of fresh air, literally. Going for a walk or a bike ride always rejuvenates me.
Human connection is SO important. Right now we need each other more than ever. While it is still nice, go for a walk with a friend or have a picnic! I know as the weather is starting to get colder, safe and socially distant options are starting to be limited. It is going to be tempting to hole up for the winter, but there are so many other ways to stay connected! Call up a friend you haven’t talked to in a while! I have found that sometimes unannounced calls are just the thing to cheer up someone’s day. I have started using the Marco Polo app, and have discovered it is great to use to catch up with friends and family who live farther away (although I felt old trying to figure out how to use it at first!)
Finally, make sure to spend some time doing what fills your cup. Whether it is curling up with tea and a good book, taking a long hot shower, painting your nails, or treating yourself to a Target trip where the store tells you what you need… make sure to do something that is just for yourself each day. Self care is not selfish. I think as women we often feel we have to be overly productive and constantly achieving in order to make our way in the world, and we never give ourselves permission to slow down and take some time for ourselves. You have permission. Stop, take a breath, and read that again. You have permission to do what you need to do to feel whole and ready to take on the day.
I hope you find these resources to be as helpful, thought provoking, and calming as I have. Have courage, press onward, and give yourself some grace.