Confessional: I’m a know-it-all. I know that. And when it comes to selfcare I have an honorary PhD from the School of Me. During the last few years, I have consumed mountains of books, articles, videos, and TED Talks on what you need to know about selfcare during divisive time like these. I have reached the summit.
Let me save you some time.
8 Essential reminders, tips, and observations:
- Selfcare now is the same as always. Hard times befell humans before COVID19, and these economic and societal stressors, and will continue in some form. Having said that, use your superpowers to anticipate selfcare strategies so you don’t crash. If you crash, you can’t serve. Avoid crashing. It’s as important as anticipating your toilet paper needs.
- When it comes to selfcare, you know the basics (sleep, drink water, move, eat). Do those.
- Whatever basics you’re avoiding; get to those first. You know what you are doing too much of, what you are not paying enough attention to, and what you are doing too little. Start there.
- Go beyond the basics, one level deeper. Stressful times can bring out an unflattering part of us. So, be mindful that proper selfcare can also be expressed by NOT being a jerk to people when you’re acutely annoyed. Being a jerk is not good for you or anyone else in any way. So, if you notice you’re being a jerk (or someone else points this out) take these simple steps:
- Take a deep breath.
- Ask yourself why you might be projecting ass-holiness.
- Listen for an answer. Pay close attention at this point.
- Take the next best nurturing step to help you be less of a jerk going forward. You know what to do. Expand into that.
- Practice something new: play a musical instrument, expand a hobby, learn a new language, take a course in a topic that is new to you. When you are intentional about learning, and making mistakes, it helps cultivate humility. You need more of that, right?
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. When you are hard on yourself you may tend to be hard on others.
- Advanced Bonus Work; add 5 points and 1 Gold Star:
- Extend your selfcare and kindness into the world by being mindful of others. Demonstrate selfcare, model it, and express kindness outwardly by making eye contact and/or listening to other sentient beings. Let people know you see, hear, and care about them. You know how much it matters.
- Selfcare doesn’t just happen. You attend to yourself. It starts with awareness, but you already knew that.
Reflection: What do you notice when you really pay attention to and attend to your needs for selfcare?
Lisa Wellington is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher who writes about integrative practices that downshift stress, increase insight, and jumpstart joy.
She is best known for her work with law enforcement professionals as well as those challenged by housing instability and addiction. Trained in the Fine Arts at Washington State University, she specializes in group training that engages participants’ inherent creativity.
If she is not under a stack of books about psychology and spirituality, she can be found at a Puget Sound beach or nearby trail, always searching for the absurd, which is her superpower.