This is a continuation of my first post on a practical guide to self-care. This post is a little step up from the first one: we’re going to look at how to take care of yourself when you’re already managing to get reasonably good sleep, you’re keeping yourself clean, you’re getting fresh air at least once a day, your medical care situation is under control.
- Do something that makes you feel happy. What makes you feel really good about yourself? Maybe it’s learning something new, meeting with a friend, doing a really good job on something, defeating a really hard boss on a video game, reading, or seeing a film you haven’t seen before. Make a plan to do something you like doing. You don’t need a reason to do something you like – liking it is reason enough!
- Get dressed. Lockdown has changed a lot of things – for many of us, getting changed out of pyjamas was the first thing to go. And for the occasional duvet day, that’s fine! But I think sometimes getting yourself dressed helps to signal to your body that it’s time to go about your day. You can still be in comfortable clothes!
- Do at least one thing that you have to do that you don’t really want to do. Make that phone call to the bank. Send that email. Run a load of laundry, or do some washing up. You absolutely don’t have to do a mountain of things, but you can try to do one thing.
- Have a think about why you’re not feeling able to take care of yourself. Is your job asking unreasonable things of you? Are you in an unrewarding relationship? Is the lockdown too much to handle? Is there a big thing that is draining you? There may not be anything you can do right away – I’m not insensitive to the fact that it’s 2020, the job situation is difficult, Covid-19 is still a thing, and there are a lot of absolutely legitimate things to be concerned about. But perhaps there are some changes you could make. Maybe don’t quit your demanding job with your unreasonable boss with no backup plan, but you can look for a way out. We can’t ignore the reality of the coronavirus, but we can look at the restrictions and still find little joys, whether it’s meeting with one friend, or going for a walk outside. If you’re in an unsafe or unkind relationship, there are ways to take care of yourself while you’re in it and start planning a way out.
- Say no to things that drain you and give you nothing in return. We’ve all experienced that one person who never makes you feel good about yourself, who only ever seems to leave you feeling worse after spending time with them. You don’t have to keep putting up with those kinds of people or those kinds of situations. You can say no, and you don’t have to explain yourself. Creating and enforcing boundaries is the best kind of self-care. You are just as much a person with feelings and desires as anyone else, and it’s okay to act like it.
If you are struggling with taking care of yourself and feeling able to create boundaries, consider getting in touch with me. I offer a free initial session, where you can explain to me what’s going on for you and get to know me a little bit, and I can tell you how I can help you.