Today I wanted to talk about self care once again. So many people neglect themselves to the point of high stress, multiple physical symptoms and an overall feeling of unhappiness.
I get it.
I used to feel like I was everyone else’s source of energy. It felt like all day long others plugged into me. By the time I came home from work, I felt drained in every sense of the word. Sometimes I would fall asleep in my scrubs. Sometimes I wouldn’t be able to get back up if I sat or laid down. I literally was so exhausted I had nothing left for myself, even basic self care like eating and even bathing, at times (after four 12 hour shifts, for example). I was DONE.
Honestly, I thought that’s what being a nurse meant. I am not alone either. All of my nurse friends have described the same. And it’s not just nursing! Many people devote their lives to their careers. They put their own life “on hold” for their careers. I can understand making sacrifices to get through college or to achieve a certain goal but it is unsustainable to live your life that way. Something will suffer. Either your physical or mental health, relationships, family or spiritual health. Surely your happiness and sense of well being will be affected if all you do is work, eat and sleep.
For many years, I didn’t even know I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was suffering mentally and physically but didn’t really know why. I enjoyed my job and couldn’t figure out why I was so exhausted. It was like there just weren’t enough hours in the day to do all that I wanted to do and I was running on fumes.
Once I learned about self care and true stress relievers that anyone can do, for free, anytime, I started incorporating different aspects of self care into my life. I explored the many different ideas I found online to see what felt right for me. Now that I have a self care routine, I feel like a totally different person. It has transformed me.
To think that some people live their whole lives like I described above makes me feel so sad. Even if you don’t relate to the extreme level of being drained as I described, but have an inkling of that feeling, you need to stop and reprioritize your day.
Caregivers tend to get burned out a lot and run on fumes because their jobs never end. If you’re a caregiver of any kind it’s extremely important to have work-life balance.
I do see a whole lot of self care tips and blog posts about self care. I’ve read about the self care “trend” that’s happening in social media. But for me, this is not a trend. I really hope and pray that more people are truly embracing self care as part of their lives and not just as a once-in-a-while indulgence.
Taking care of ourselves is a lifestyle. It is a way to come back to center and ground ourselves after giving to others and being busy with the day to day activities of life.
What does self care mean to you?
Do you think self care is a trend?
What are you doing on a regular basis to destress, unwind and regroup?
If you have developed a self care routine later in life, like I did, how has it changed you?
Is self care something you think should be taught in schools?
If you’re a parent, do you teach self care to your kids?
Please let me know in the comments below.
Thank you so much for reading this post. I hope it gave you some food for thought.
PS: If you need ideas for self care check out this big list. I’m always adding to it so check back frequently. Try out different ways to destress and see what resonates with you. If you aren’t feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after one method, keep trying different things. It may feel unnatural to take time for yourself at first. Just keep going. The important thing is to develop a routine that is doable and works for you.