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Self-Care Ideas in Your Own Backyard

By: Cecily Johnson, Training Services Coordinator, DVN

On any given day, our bodies, minds, and energies are tested and often times depleted long before we can make it home to rest and recharge for the next day. In addition to our regular work schedules, we have the responsibility of caring for our families and pets, spending time with friends, and giving time towards our extracurricular activities, acts of service, and maybe a little gym time.

In a perfect world, each bit of energy that we pour into someone or something would be equally given back to us. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Perhaps we are ready to receive that energy, but something happens, something terrible and heinous, an act that we cannot even comprehend; it is official, your body, mind, and energy, are officially spent.

Every day is a gift and every day brings its own opportunities and challenges, so how do we recharge and recover? How do we refuel and rejuvenate ourselves? To quote every mental health provider, fellow social worker, behavioral health provider, and every other category of social science, it’s called SELF-CARE. I will be completely honest and inform you that I am not the best at self-care. I am actually pretty terrible at it, in fact, many of us are. I have this theory (ok, really it is my semi-humble opinion), that we correlate self-care with “spa day,” or “luxe island vacation,” when in reality self-care may simply be having the opportunity to drink a nice, warm cup of coffee from beginning to end, uninterrupted.

I have a friend who is a new mom. She says that her form of self-care is a hot shower, followed by a warm cup of coffee and maybe even a meal that she can eat and enjoy without having to rush, before she is called to her motherly duties. I love that. We often take some of the simplest activities for granted when they can be the ultimate form of self-care, because the activity is for YOU. A luxe vacation, spa day, or excursion, are all fabulous ways to care for yourself, but keep in mind that other simpler ways to care for yourself can literally be in your backyard.

As we are inevitably faced with day-to-day obstacles, or even things that we enjoy and love, but require work and energy, let us remind ourselves to be a little selfish and take some time to replenish ourselves – to be our best. I have learned about so many different ways that people can spend time caring for themselves. While it is completely personal to you, here is a fun list of ideas just in case you have a hard time coming up with something. One last thing, allow self-care to be a routine in your life. It is not intended to be a one-time deal. It is meant to be a consistent activity, to help you be your best self. Enjoy and best of health!

Written by Cecily Johnson, Training Services Coordinator