I’ll admit it, for a long time I always thought of self-care as a luxury. You know, going to get your hair colored, nails done, a nice relaxing massage. I mean, don’t get me wrong, those things are nice and all, but often times they are not realistic on a regular basis.
Self-Care is about taking care of your mental health.
I shared about this in my latest email (are you on the list??), but especially in the winter months, my mental health needs some extra TLC. I recognize that the coldness and lack of sun can easily bring me down. So it is even more important to be mindful of what I can do for myself to keep my emotions in check.
Occupational Therapists look at self-care multi-dimensional.
On days that I am struggling, I often pull in my OT background to help assess where I am and create goals for where I want to be. Self-assessment is a great tool that can be used on a regular basis to help keep goals in check.
There are so many areas that OT’s can address, but I find when I am specifically looking at my self-care, these are the areas that I self-assess
- Social Participation
Let me break it down for you even more…
Rest/sleep is pretty self-explanatory. I know my sweet number for sleep at night is 6.5 hours. Ideally, I would like more, but I can function well with 6.5 hours. So when I make my schedule for the day, I keep this number in mind. I also work to have rest time in my schedule. This is often just downtime where I sit and breath, maybe I read, or meditate, but it is unscheduled time.
Social participation: while that is a sterile sounding phrase, it means interacting with adults in a non-work environment for me. I tend to be an introvert, and can easily isolate. So for me, I need to schedule time out with friends and other adults.
Education: I LOVE to learn. This is a necessity for me. Whether I am taking a course or reading a book, learning is essential to my overall well-being so I make sure to schedule this.
Play: For me, this is just having fun. It can be easy to get caught up in the chores and the endless to-do lists of being an adult. Some days this is taking a new class, other days it could be having a dance party in the living room. My friend over at Nothing Jenneric shared a fun activity of making a tent as an adult, that is definitely on my list to try!
Are your self-care needs being met?
If you are struggling to identify what you need in your life, I invite you to schedule a free consult with me. And be on the lookout, as I am starting a small group in April where we will work together to identify our self-care needs and ways to make sure that they are being met on a regular basis (make sure you are on the email for insider info on more details as they are released)